Like a movie trailer, your Stuck Story is a montage of the most interesting moments in a conflict, with certain scenes magnified and others omitted. It’s not the story of the conflict; it’s your story of the conflict. Here’s why and how to stop the unintended rehearsals of a Stuck Story.
Cultivating emotional agility
Anger is a signal, not a defect.
Just a trip down memory lane.
I’ve written that anger is a messenger that won’t shut up until its message is heard and understood. But if the anger is so big or so loud you can’t hear straight, there are things you can do to help someone calm down. And a few things you shouldn’t do…like these five missteps. I’ve written […]
A traditional Zen koan, or story.
During conflict, focusing mostly on angry behavior instead of on anger’s real message is like burying the lede in a news story. It was the first day of high school journalism class for American journalist and filmmaker Nora Ephron. The subject of the day was how to write a lede. The teacher began with a […]
Conflict can rob you of two precious mental faculties useful for sorting things out: The ability to view the situation from the other person’s perspective and the ability to check your impulses. New research suggests that your future self can help you recapture those abilities. Confrontations and conflict require self-control to resist the tempting words […]
Stonewalling makes conflict conversations more difficult and can damage vital relationships. So what can you do if you want to talk out a problem, but the other person is stonewalling? Start by understanding how the present circumstances may be driving the behavior.
Conflict and suffering are bedfellows. When we’re trying to help others in conflict, whether as mediators, leaders, or family members, we can help them better if we can turn toward their suffering instead of withdrawing from it.
When conflict kindles unwelcome emotions, we want relief. There’s a well-researched emotion regulation technique that reliably dampens the effect of unwelcome emotions, and all we need to remember is one simple question.
Like riding a wave in your mind’s eye.
Like a reset button for your emotions.
Well, that’s the first time I’ve been called a lemming.
Self-coaching questions for conflict resolution.
Never has a rubber duck been more helpful.
Don’t suppress or stifle — shift.
Rumination, or dwelling on anger or hurt after a conflict, isn’t a helpful habit. To stop ruminating at night or any other time you find yourself dwelling on your distress, here’s a thought exercise to help you stop the endless and potentially harmful loop.
We’ll call this the George Takei method.
Use a centering question to get your balance back.
I blew my top and my friend surprised me.