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Conflict – Fact or Fiction

Our perceptions of what actually occurred in a dispute are not all that reliable in the aftermath of hurtful interactions. Our emotional experiences of conflict have a huge impact on us and one of the results is that our perspective on what happened gets muddled and muddied. What we think is an absolute truth about the event and the exchange about it is often not the other person’s perception of the absolute truth. Essentially, facts can be easily distorted and we end up with our blind spots steering us – with no vision of what we need to find our way through conflict. In a short period of time our memories can get even more mixed up and what we wished we had said may get conveyed as though we said it. That is, we come to believe things said and done by us and the other person that do not resemble reality.

In the end, arguing over facts becomes a fool’s game, especially when they cannot be proved one way or the other. It is often the case, too, that it isn’t so much the different views on the facts that leads to disagreement. Rather, it is how firmly and hotly held positions are stated and received – whether or not they are fact or fiction.

This week’s blog is about looking at the facts of a current (ongoing) dispute to disentangle what is contributing most to your reaction.  These ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may be stated in the past to be able to unravel a past dispute where the facts were disparate.

  • What facts do you rely on to support your side of the situation?
  • Which facts are not absolutely true?
  • What do you want as an outcome that will be achieved by standing by the facts as you perceive them?
  • What facts, as you perceive them, are not worth standing up for?
  • What facts does the other person rely on?
  • Which ones of his or hers are correct, in your view? Which ones are incorrect?
  • If you couldn’t rely on or prove the facts according to your perspective, what difference will that make?
  • Which facts do both of you agree on? How important are those facts for reconciling your differences on a scale of 1-5, 5 being very important?
  • What still niggles you about the different views on the facts? Why is that?
  • Despite the disparate view you two have on the facts, what are you willing to do or say to achieve the outcome you want?

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

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