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Shed Light

People are being forced into compliance with things they do not believe in order to avoid conflict. The strong-willed ones are being bullies and pressing their wishes and desires over the wills of the week. This is manipulation and even has a name: Gas Lighting. In conflict there are two ways to defend your position.

People who do not have a plan of action tend to react to situations that elevate their emotions. Arguments become highly volatile because they react to the other persons words. Because they are not prepared for a response, they escalate the situation by using profanity, yelling names, and becoming physically abusive. They avoid feeling stupid by creating conflict simply because they did not have an answer.

People who are prepared, even if it means saying that you are not prepared to comment, are less likely to be reactive. When I work with clients, I suggest they be prepared with a mantra they can use in most situations. Being able to say, “I’m not sure, but I’ll get back to you on that” or “That’s a good question. Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.“ These short responses can save someone a lot of heartache when they are caught off guard.

Are you a reactor or a responder? If your answer is that you react to situations, turn argumentative, and even use hate language (cursing, name calling, deflecting) in order to gain control, you are a reactor. For the reactors I have a suggestion. When you are challenged and accused of wrongdoing consider these things before you reply:

1. Do not accept abuse. Name calling, profanity, physical abuse is never acceptable by either party.

2. Reflect on the situation at hand in order to gain understanding of the other's goal.

3. Did you do anything that created the conflict? If so apologize.

4. Seek clarity, resolution, and peace. You are only 1/2 of the argument.

4. Stop apologizing for things you are not responsible for.

5. Be prepared to walk away.

Remember, you are not responsible for the thoughts or actions of others. You are not guilty of another's prejudices. Just because someone believes something about you does not make it true. When you are unable to make peace is it because the other does not seek peace but only to demand your compliance and agreement? When you have attempted to reach a compromise and cannot, do not remain in conflict. Take a break, gain emotional stability, think logically. Offer to write down your position and present it at a later time when calmer heads prevail. Sometimes this will be acceptable and other times, when the other is motivated more by selfish intent, they will not want to wait, to calm down, or to consider your side. This is when the battle is best left unresolved. Try to shed light on the situation, but when the other refuses to step out of the shadows, walk away. You're wasting your time, your energy, and giving up your day that is best served in other ways.

“Happy is the man who does not walk in the way sinful men tell him to,

or stand in the path of sinners, or sit with those who laugh at the truth.”

Psalm 1:1


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