art work by John Ceprano
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Crankiness and Conflict

Sometimes our interpersonal conflicts result in our crankiness. Other times our crankiness exacerbates conflict. It isn’t always straightforward to know which comes first. However, it is feasible to consider the genesis of our crankiness so that we do not displace what we are going through and lose its meaning and importance for us.

As I’m writing this I am thinking that, apart from dictionary definitions, we likely have different ideas about what crankiness is. It occurs to me it is a subjective and feeling experience – either as the cranky person or on the receiving end of someone else’s state of being. That is, words don’t always depict what it feels like in either case. And it often seems interpersonal conflict results in or perpetuates such a state.

This week’s blog invites you to consider your experience of cranky in both scenarios with this list of questions:

  • How do you define the experience of feeling cranky?
  • What seems to lead you to that state of being?
  • How does it impact others when you are cranky at these times, from what you can tell?
  • In what ways has that experience resulted in a conflict with someone else? What happened?
  • What could you do differently when you become cranky so that it doesn’t lead to unnecessary conflict?
  • How do you describe the experience of being on the receiving end of someone else’s crankiness?
  • When you think about one of those experiences, what reasons seem to account for her or his crankiness?
  • In what ways did that lead to a dispute with you?
  • How might your reaction have contributed to the conflict?
  • What could you do differently when someone else becomes cranky so that you won’t negatively react?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

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