Monday, December 5, 2016

Dealing with Conflict 3

                   The Sweeten Scale of Conflict Management

All Disagreements cause some fear and anxiety. However, we can manage to calm ourselves and others by the ways we speak, act and the tone of our voice. 

Level of Interaction 
Resulting Physical Symptoms     
1.  Contented:  At peace with others.     Thinking and feeling calm.

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.  But I say anger is dangerous
1.  Relaxed.  Male heart rate – 72
                    Female heart rate – 80

Jesus brings a new teaching about caring in addition to physical relationships. This is critically important in family life. 
2.  Complaint:  A specific behavior     Healthy activity of “I" statements (I want, I think, I don't like, etc.).      

   …anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. 
2.  Slight anxiety & fear.  Increased
Heart rate-BPM & breathing, muscles tense. Minor Fight/Flight Response.

Be careful about anger, bitterness and rage. It is not wrong but handled carefully. Judge ourselves or we shall be judged
3.  Criticism:  A vague blaming. "You" statements.  Focus on person not behavior.  A flawed personality.  Global statements.     
Anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca is answerable to the Sanhedrin.

3.  More anxiety and fear.  High blood pressure & breathing rate, muscles tight, blood sugar, and eyes dilated, reduced digestion.  Feel attacked.

Raca is calling a brother or sister “stupid” or a failure. (*Note Bitter Root below)
4.  Contempt:  Personal insults, shaming attacks on the character sense of self and identity. Opposite of admiration, mocking lack of respect.
One who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the hell fire. Mt 5:21-22

4.  High anxiety and high stress. Feel heartbeat. Shallow breathing, fight/ flight response on alert, hyper vigilant. Reactive to threat.
Character attacks cause severe emotional wounds that result in hellish feelings 
5.  Consuming defenses:  rejects all communication.  Attacks the mate.
5.  Severe anxiety. Can’t think. Feelings rule. Fight/Flight.  Shaking or trembling.
6.  Crushing reaction, withdrawal, or aggressive pursuit of the other. Cycle of miscommunication/misunderstanding.
6.  Emotional flooding: Chronic state of hyper vigilance and hypersensitive self-talk.   
7.  Complete Isolation: withdrawal.
7.  Too painful to interact with rational discourse.  Filled with constant thoughts of attack and condemnation.
a.  Problem is impossible to resolve    
b.  Talking is useless    
c.  Hopeless                                          
d.  Overwhelmed
© Gary Sweeten, Sweeten Life Systems

Adapted from John Gottman,
Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, Simon and Schuster.

If you want to manage a relationship, it is necessary to stay peaceful and engaged with the person or persons where emotions can easily get out of control. That takes practice and self-discipline.

Pray for peace if you are going to enter a difficult conversation. Breathe deeply and stay calm. A positive answer can turn a person's anger down. Feel free to share your challenges with me.

Ho do you think Jesus would characterize these stages of conflict? Read the Sermon on the Mount to see.

It is possible to change even when you have bad habits developed over years of practice. If you are motivated to build better relationships you can do it. If you refuse, you will obviously reap the whirlwind of rage, divorce, and hell on earth just as Jesus said. 

So many people fell into the trap of character attacks in the last election that there is currently "Hell to Pay". The rage and attacks continue and few people are asking forgiveness in order to make things better. Eating humble pie is very, very difficult for both sides. 

If you prefer healing and peace to rage, and hellish attacks get my eBook Breaking Free to be all Jesus wants you to Be.

Many of us are still living "rent free" in the head of either Trump or Hillary. They exist in a world of bitterness, attacks, and hellish anguish. It is their right to either move on or stay stuck in the past. 

For me and my house, we will choose the Lord's way and move on. 

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