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Second-Guessing the Conflict

It seems that at times after a dispute is over we second-guess what we said or did. This expression – second-guess – implies that we have made a first guess and the further implication is that we are now wondering about and doubting the wisdom of our initial way of handling the situation. This suggests the time-worn truth that thinking before we speak and act helps to eliminate regrets and self-recrimination that typically accompany second-guessing. The idea about this week’s blog is more about reflecting on and making our first guesses ones about which we feel good so that we don’t need to second-guess.

I invite you to consider how second-guessing impacts you and how you can consider ways to pre-empt unnecessary second-guessing. To respond to this line of inquiry please consider a present or past dispute in which you are second-guessing or did second-guess what you said or did:

  • What are you second-guessing or did you second-guess?
  • For what reasons?
  • What motivated your first guess (being what you said or did that you are now doubting)?
  • What feelings are/were you experiencing about what you said or did?
  • What feelings do you prefer to have after a conflict?
  • What do you think will help ensure the feelings you prefer – next time you are in a conflict?
  • How does your second-guessing help you with the particular dispute you have in mind? How does it hurt you?
  • How does second-guessing hurt the other person?
  • When you hear someone second-guessing, what do you perceive as the pros and cons of doing so?
  • How may you make a first guess one you can stand by?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?

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