Dealing with conflict

By Dave Henning / March 21, 2015

How Can I Possibly Forgive?  Rescuing Your Heart from Resentment and Regret is the latest book from author Sara Horn.  Her previous books include My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife.  Sara begins Chapter 1 (“Listening Through the Noise”) by observing that there are three popular choices people make when they don’t want to have a difficult conversation with someone:

1.  Do I really even need to have this conversation?  Sara observes that this choice is the most obvious as well as the first one for many.  However, this choice is problematic because there is no set of guidelines or a peer mediation model for dealing with conflict as an adult.  Furthermore, there is no law forcing someone to talk things out with you.

2.  How do I win this discussion?  How do I get my way on this issue?  Here we think through the tactics we learned when we participated in mock debates in school.  We come up with arguments why the other person is wrong and we are right.  Perhaps we’ll come up with statements acknowledging the other person’s position, but twist them so that the other person will have to acknowledge that we are correct.

3.  Will she say she’s sorry?  Will he admit he was wrong?  When we’ve been wounded deeply by the words or actions of another, all we want is some relief from the pain and an apology as a good start.  We also may debate the merits of apologizing ourselves.

Today’s question: Which of the three choices resonates most with you following your vocation loss?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Distracting crescendos”

Coming Monday: the Annotated Bibliography of Soul Keeping

About the author

Dave Henning

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