art work by John Ceprano
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When is Enough Enough?

In many interpersonal disputes we tend to keep the associated tension alive with ongoing arguing about the same issues over and over. That is, it’s clear things are not getting resolved and yet, we continue to raise them, fight about them and agonize about them.

There are many reasons for this observed in my experience as a coach and mediator and well…personally. Some reasons for sustaining the conflict have to do with our hopes and expectations of changing the other person’s mind. Other reasons may be due to feelings of hurt, disappointment, betrayal and strong emotions that are keeping us from reconciling matters in our hearts, precluding us from moving on. Some of the time we are unresolved about the apparent outcome, finding it very hard to accept. At times, being in conflict is the only way to stay connected to the other person.

These and other reasons can pervade and make our lives miserable, as well as the persons’ with whom we are in dispute. Even those who hear our ongoing struggle are impacted. It even seems that we cannot get enough of the angst, or don’t know when enough is enough!

If you are in a continuing battle with someone and the above resonates for you, here are this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) to help you process the dynamic:

  • What was the dispute about?
  • What was your desired outcome?
  • What is most important to you about that (your answer to the previous question)?
  • What do you think the other person wanted as an outcome?
  • What may be most important to her or him about that outcome (your answer to the previous question)?
  • What is your specific part in keeping the dispute active?
  • What is the other person’s part?
  • What usually has to happen for you in a dispute when you can finally say “enough is enough”?
  • How will you know in this one when enough is enough?
  • What will you need for and from yourself to be able to move on?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

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