Conflict happens when:
- Each person believes that the other needs to change.
- We see calming down as the goal, but not a part of the solution.
- We act as if our functioning/mood depend on people behaving better.
Have you ever had any of these thoughts?
I’ll be happy/calmer if they’ll just. . .
- Text/call me more often.
- Not tell me what to do.
- Help out more around the house.
- Stop criticizing me.
- Share more of their thinking.
- Let me help.
- Make more romantic gestures.
- Calm Down
- Grow up.
When we are distressed, our emotional tentacles tend to reach outwards. We direct others in order to manage ourselves. Unfortunately, many of our efforts to get others to change encourage the very behaviors we’re trying to eliminate. A person who checks their partner’s phone can invite more distance and secrecy from them. A boss who micromanages your work doesn’t make you more eager to do it. If a friends demands that you call them more often, it doesn’t make you want to get to know them better.(more…)