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

Bouncing Back

In the aftermath of interpersonal conflicts some of us bounce back quicker than others. There are lots of reasons for this. For instance, as discussed in previous blogs, we may have unresolved issues and emotions that continue to haunt us. Other variables that influence our resilience are how we manage stress, how we process our feelings, our general pessimistic versus optimistic approaches to life, the degree of lingering hurt and other emotions due to the dispute, and so on. Some other factors include our general physical wellbeing and the spiritual and philosophical dimensions of our lives.

What does it mean to bounce back from interpersonal conflicts then? The answer to this question reflects our individual and subjective experience of how we have learned to process discord. The following signs of resilience are just some examples of how we may regain our equilibrium that may have been lost during our disputes. We have a sense and accept that we did the best we could or even if we did not, we are prepared to figure out a way to reconcile things and move on. When we bounce back we stop letting the interaction prey on us and taint the ongoing relationship. We sincerely forgive or apologize and do not hold a grudge against the other person. We forgive ourselves. We are not preoccupied with what we should have done. We let the other person off the blame hook.

When we feel limited in our resilience post-conflict in these and other ways, it is an opportune time to explore why that is the case and to see if we have something to learn from the interaction that facilitates bouncing back. So, if resilience is a challenge for you, these ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) are ones to consider. I suggest you think about a dispute from which you are not bouncing back when responding to the following:

  • About what specifically are you not being or feeling resilient regarding a specific dispute?
  • What continues to bother you most?
  • What is it about that (your answer to the above question) that is having the strongest impact on you?
  • What would being resilient mean in this situation?
  • What else would be different for you if you were resilient about that situation?
  • How would being different in the way you just described impact your relationship with the other person? What would be different about your relationship with yourself?
  • Thinking about the expression bouncing back when it comes to this dispute, what would you be bouncing back from? What will you be bouncing to?
  • What do you think will propel you to bounce back effectively?
  • What have you learned from the dispute that may help you bounce back?
  • How will you apply your learning from this dispute that will facilitate your resilience in future conflicts?

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

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