art work by John Ceprano
CINERGY (tm) - Peacebuilding... one person at a time

The Slow Burn

I remember my mother using the slang expression ‘slow burn’ when she was feeling angry at someone about something she or he said or did. The sentence started, “I’m doing a slow burn ever since Mary….” Luckily, we seemed to be a family that regularly used idioms, so I didn’t literally think of her burning. But, I do recall asking her, “What is a fast burn?” and her response, “Well that’s when I boil over!” I had observed both so knew what she meant.

So, to bring in my mother’s experience of being in conflict for this blog, I looked up the meaning of ‘slow burn’ to find that it is consistent with the meaning I attributed it. That is, an apparent signal that something or someone is provoking a negative response – starting at a low level with the potential of erupting to a higher one. One definition more precisely is “a steadily penetrating show of anger or contempt”.

In a previous blog entitled “Simmering Signs” I discussed the indicators we all have when we begin to experience some discord in a relationship about behaviours or words that offend us. This week’s posting develops the idea more so, using the expression ‘slow burn’.

As usual, it is suggested that you bring to mind a situation which has not or did not evolve. But, it is or was one in which you would say a ‘slow burn’ describes what you were experiencing.

  • What does ‘slow burn’ mean to you that is similar to the description above? What is different?
  • In the situation you are thinking about, what is burning?
  • How are you experiencing the burn?
  • What keeps it a ‘slow burn’?
  • What would a fast burn look like? Feel like?
  • What may lead to a fast burn?
  • How does the slow burn impact your relationship with the other person?
  • If you wanted to stop the burn, what could you do?
  • What has stopped you, so far?
  • If you want a situation to not reach a ‘slow burn’ or if it begins to go there, what could you do to cool things down?

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

This entry was posted in Metaphors, Reactions. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *