art work by John Ceprano
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Getting Your Nose Out of Joint

It’s interesting to me how various body parts represent statements used about conflict concepts and states of ‘being’ at these times. Getting a “nose out of joint” is one of those. The origin of this phrase reportedly dates back to 1581 and was used by Barnaby Rich in His Farewell to Militarie Profession. The related quote is: “It could bee no other then his owne manne, that has thrust his nose so farre out of ioynte.” The meaning then, as it is today, is about reacting with hurt feelings and upset to an offense such as when someone gets something we want.

The visual of a ‘nose out of joint’ makes for a vivid metaphor. The image, for instance, is one of imbalance and something broken (literally and figuratively). Looking at a person with a ‘nose out of joint’ is in and of itself a painful vision and one which I imagine reflects emotions of deep hurt, anger, disappointment, betrayal, injustice, or sadness.

This week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider something about which you have your nose out of joint when answering the following:

  • About what specifically is your nose out of joint?
  • How do you describe what that phrase means as it applies to how you appear in this circumstance?
  • How may you look to someone observing you?
  • How do you feel with a nose out of joint?
  • At what point did your nose become disjointed?
  • What could the other person have said or done differently so that wouldn’t have happened?
  • What could you have done?
  • What could the other person say or do now to put your nose back in place? What could you do?
  • What will you achieve by putting your nose back into joint?
  • How will you describe your appearance when it is back in place?

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

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