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Choosing Carefulness

When we become provoked by something the other person says or does, we have a choice about how to respond. That is, even though our initial response may be to react adversely, we do not actually need to retaliate, blame and otherwise demonstrate behaviours or use words that further add to the tension.

Of course, it’s not always easy to refrain from these sorts of negative reactions when we are hurt, offended, insulted and so on. It’s also not easy to consider, at these times, that we are at choice – to proceed carefully. Rather, we may not care about the other person or her or his feelings in the moment and instead, we just want to defend ourselves and hurt back.

In an effort to become more conflict masterful, this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider a situation in which someone has offended you and your tendency is or was to offend back. It’s about being careful and care-ful.

  • What is or was the situation?
  • What did the other person say that offended you?
  • What was most hurtful to you about that (your answer to the previous question)?
  • How might you describe your internal reaction to what the other person said or did?
  • What about what the other person said has some truth to it, if there is any, in your view?
  • What choices do or did you have regarding possible responses?
  • What response is a “careful” one?
  • What isn’t a “careful” one?
  • What makes the above-mentioned response “careful”?
  • What are the advantages of being “careful”? Disadvantages?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?

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