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Getting revved up

What often happens in the middle of an interpersonal conflict is that, for one reason or another, one or both people become increasingly agitated and words and emotions accelerate in intensity and negativity. This shows up in various other ways too, such as talking louder and getting more aggressive and blameful. The outpouring of feelings typically opens up a faucet of vitriol, attributions, and for some, tears. It is a time we may feel out of control and choice.

Though I often think of ‘revving up’ to mean increasing car speed, what I just described is what I think defines the notion of ‘revving up’ when in conflict. One resource that defined “getting revved up” refers to things becoming “more productive”. When I thought about that, it makes sense that the expression may be applied to the notion of constructive conflict – when the disputants become positively engaged in the discussion – aiming to reconcile differences and finding a mutually satisfactory outcome.

This week’s blog is for those of you who tend to rev up in not-so-positive ways – and sometimes for no apparent reason – in the middle of a conflict. Consider one when that has happened for you when answering this series of questions:

  • What is the situation and what did you specifically say or do that you refer to as revving up?
  • For what reason(s) did you rev up?
  • What else were you experiencing at the time?
  • What accelerated for you as you revved up (voice, heart rate, etc.)?
  • In what ways did the other person rev up too?
  • What seemed to initiate that for her or him?
  • What could she or he have said or done to decelerate things and make things more productive for you?
  • What could you have said or done to decelerate things and make things more productive for her or him? For yourself?
  • What do you suppose got in your way of trying to decelerate things? Why is that?
  • If you want to rev things up in a positive way in your next conflict, what will you do differently?

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

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