Monday, December 1, 2008

Steps 16-18 of the 21 steps of personal peacemaking

I'm back in the groove, and here are the next three steps from Lynn Fitz-Hugh's 21 Steps on Personal Peacemaking, from the August 2008 Friends Journal. Lynn's words are in bold or quotes.

16. When speaking to another person about our upsets, it is best to use "I" statements of our experience and reactions as our own, rather than blaming others or making them responsible for our feelings.

"It is also best to listen carefully and respectfully to the other person's responses and be willing to change our minds if presented with different information."

"I" statements are something like the second commandment of assertiveness training. It's such a simple and strong technique. Besides being assertive, it lessens the other person's defensiveness and is not blaming. Back to that B word again. The B word is bad.

17. The use of drugs, alcohol, or violence during a conflict, or during the attempt to fix it, will make the conflict worse.

Lynn Fitz-Hugh doesn't elaborate, and neither will I. Except: DUH!

18. People who are very alike often have a great deal of conflict. "...Perhaps we see our worst or most detested trait in the other perosn (but of course it looks much worse on him or her). What is helpful is not to focus on how awful the other person is but to focus back on how we feel about ourselves when we behae that way and begin by working on forgiving ourselves for our own behavior. When we can love ourselves as we are, the other person magically becomes much less annoying and more an object for compassion."

This is a hard step for me. The person I find most like me is my own daughter, whose similarities to me are numerous and somewhat eerie. My challenge is to not project the rest of me onto her, and to respect her for the person she is.

I also love the notion of forgiving myself for my behavior, and love the idea of compassion. What a lovely virtue. I will contemplate (read: google) this today.

Peace y'all


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