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CINERGY (tm) - Peacebuilding... one person at a time

Being Better to Ourselves

When it comes to interpersonal conflict it is important to consider the strength of our coping mechanisms before engaging in the challenging conversations that erupt at these times. We all cope in different ways and our ability to manage conflict depends on how good we are feeling in general. It’s often contingent, too, on our ability to regulate our emotions and shift our mindset under stress.

One of the variables of conflict intelligence then, is how well we take care of ourselves. Fatigue, lack of exercise, poor eating habits, not cultivating self-awareness or perspective taking, and letting ourselves get run down all contribute to how we react. Without self-care the stress and strain we are already experiencing in our hearts and minds and bodies contribute to the unnecessary escalation of conflict. That is, when we are not taking care of ourselves, we are more apt to initiate and react poorly to interactions that have the potential of reeling out of control. Our usual defense mechanisms are out of whack and we seem to lack the wherewithal to take a break to reduce our reactions and reflect on the dynamic before responding.

This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog asks you to consider a dispute that escalated unnecessarily due to your contribution that might have been fuelled by lack of self-care.

  • What was the dispute about?
  • How did you react that was not consistent with your preferred way of being in conflict?
  • How were you not caring for yourself at this time?
  • How did that lack of caring manifest itself in addition to the reaction you referred to (in response to the second question)?
  • How do you know it was lack of self-care that had a negative impact on the interaction? Why were you not caring for yourself?
  • What was the impact for you of realizing you contributed to the dispute unnecessarily?
  • What was the impact of the dispute erupting for the other person?
  • What could you have done differently?
  • What would it take for you to be better to yourself so that, among other things, you are better able to engage in conflict?
  • What might you do at the time conflict appears to show self-care?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

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