Communication is about providing meaning. Conflict can happen in all relationships and manifests either through silence (withholding meaning) or violence (trying to force meaning). The book "Crucial Conversation" by Kerry Patterson et al is an excellent resource that talks about creating safety, the antithesis to conflict. Self-awareness, stopping to breathe, being mindful, taking back projections, truly listening - all are tools that help us deal with conflict. And as humans we can sometimes get hooked and not use all that we know. It's natural.
The question then becomes: How do we recover after a dynamic becomes messy? How do we stay away from 'the story' that can be created so the drama continues...and continues? What would be different if we we accepted our humanness and the humanness of the person with whom we are in conflict?
For myself, I notice that when I allow myself to accept that I have messed up, I breathe a sigh of relief. I don't have to get it right all the time. I am human. I am then able to move on with the intention to come from my best self as much as is humanly possible. And I keep using the opportunity to learn that I receive every time I do engage in a conflict - honing my skills on the road toward peace.
I accept my humanness. I accept that sometimes I can get into messy, conflictual dynamics. I breathe. I listen to my inner being. As I return to my core, I trust that I know what to do to clean up each mess that I play a part in creating.
© 2009 Jeannie Campanelli, Inner Confidence Coaching. All Rights Reserved.
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