This wonderful article in the August 2008 Friends Journal came from Lynn Fitz-Hugh. By sharing this with you, friend, I reinforce it for myself. Steven Covey called this "third-party teaching," meaning you learn something better if you learn it with the intent of sharing it. So I invite you to read what follows with the intent of sharing it with someone else.
13. When someone else is disappointed or angry with us, this does not mean we are bad or unworthy. "We may have been told this in the past, and therefore this feeling may readily rear its head. It actually just means the other person is having a lot of strong and perhaps complex feelings. It is a good idea to care about others' feelings, but when we start operating/speaking out of guilt or shame, we are now actually having a competing upset that steals the attention from the person who was originally upset. Once two people are upset, the whole thing becomes a much larger mess."
Rarely do I feel bad or unworthy, thanks to God
14. Dragging other people in by trying to convince them of our point of view or trying to get others to choose sides just makes the conflict bigger and worse. "As a result, this causes pain in additional people and is another reason for the person with whom we are in conflict to be angry with us. it is one thing to ask someone to process feelings with us (ideally someone who does not know the person) or to speak without identifying the person. But it is quite another thing to 'compile a case together' or confirm each others's negative feelings."
Wait, wait, don't nations (especially ours) do exactly this with other nations? Hmmm, this warrants some contemplation. Anyone want to help?
15. When we direct all of our actions towards trying to prevent another person from feeling a certain way (angry, hurt, disappointed) we find ourselves caught in co-dependent emotional caretaking. "We need to redirect our attention toward how we are feeling, what our needs are, and how we feel about our own behavior."
Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen
Two more installments, and we'll have all 21 steps presented. I peaked ahead: 17 is a no-brainer, and 21 is a snap for me. Good, that means I can work harder on other steps. Today I think it will be #10, and look for what each person I relate to (in conflict or otherwise) can teach me. And I will share it.
Peace to you. Personally.
1 year ago