Friday, December 2, 2016

Dealing Wiih Conflict 2

Conflicts Are Inevitable, But Break-Ups Are Optional

Successful relationships only happen when we learn how to resolve Conflicts without chronically moving beyond healthy Complaints.  Healthy Complaints actually keep a relationship clean and growing. However, when out of frustration and pain we start to Criticize or show Contempt, there is danger of a permanent break in the relationship. 
Healthy Complaints use “I Statements” to share my concerns.
Example: “I do not like the way we are interacting. We do not spend enough time together, especially on fun things.”
Criticism uses “You Statements” to attack others’ behaviors.
Example:  “You never come home and spend time with me.”
Contempt uses “You Statements” to attack others’ character
Example: “You don’t care anything about being a husband/wife and never fulfill your commitment to the kids and me.”

Example: "You are a cold fish and never want to make love. You are just like your mother". 

Attacks of character are extremely damaging and harmful to any relationship. In the last election we saw many attacks on the character of political opponents. 

"You Conservatives are all Racists, Homophobic, and Sexists!"

"You Liberals are all crazy Communists!"

Attacks on entire groups and anyone disagreeing with us is harmful and contrary to the Bible. But, it is common, especially if we were reared in angry families.

Getting Better?
Learning to resolve interpersonal differences makes marriage and family life fun, interesting and fulfilling.  By using “I Statements,” we take responsibility for our own thoughts and feelings.
Complaints can be very healthy:  We need to learn how to state our wants, needs, and desires directly so the people around us can understand exactly what we are saying. A good Complaint states openly what the person wants. For example: “I want to eat at home tonight. I am tired of eating out.” or “I want to eat at Bob Evans tonight. They have a special pot pie that I like.”
This kind of a direct statement is easily understood and easily responded to by our family. “Okay, we can go to Bob Evans for the pot pie, but I want to eat at Panera next week.” Such statements may cause us to become a bit nervous about being selfish, but clear statements are much easier to deal with than hints that require us to read minds or a passive-aggressive response that erupts into a fight later.
Example:  Verbal comment: “Of course we can eat at the Greasy Spoon, dear.” Internal self-talk: “That rat never does what I want. He always gets his way.” The second way it seems humble but nearly always ends up in conflict. The internal self-talk is filled with Criticism and Contempt.

Criticism is blaming others with attacking emotions. Contempt is shaming others with attacks on their character. America is moving quickly into a Shaming culture from one based on right or wrong, guilt or innocence. This indicates that disagreement can quickly degenerate into Aggressive Shaming instead of Reasoned Debate. Shaming occurs when a person is seen separated from a certain group. It is Tribalism rather than Community.

It says, "If you are not in my tribe you must hate me and I must hate you. If you are a Democrat and I am a Republican, you and I come from different tribes and in a Shame Based Culture that means I must hate you.

If I promote Heterosexual Marriage and disagree with you about Homosexual Marriage, a Tribal person might ask the government to fine me or fire me for my views. The Constitution of the United States is based on several freedoms on which different people disagree. In a Guilt Based Culture, we can depend on the Constitution to demand our rights. In a Shame Based Culture, people may feel free to attack the character of those with whom they disagree. Hate and rejection are acceptable if Shame rules our ideas. 
Click here to get my books and videos. We believe that Christ came to forgive True Moral Guilt and remove Shame by placing us in God's Forever Family that eliminates tribal ideas. 

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