art work by John Ceprano
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Questioning Ourselves in Conflict

It’s a common phenomenon that we question ourselves when we are in conflict. For me, the unknown hovers and I have lots of questions. For instance: I question if the issue is worth fighting for; I wonder why a certain act or look provokes me; I think about what the root of my upset is; I consider whether to just try to let “it” go; or I ponder the pros and cons of raising the matter.

It seems these and other questions come up for me at a conscious and subconscious level when I find my emotions escalating about something another person says or does, or it might be an attitude, manner or way of interacting that provokes a reaction in me. I don’t always answer the questions that come to mind, but this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog invites you to contemplate the questions AND the answers. I suggest you start by bringing to mind a conflict situation that is giving you unsettling feelings – anger, upset, hurt, etc.

  • How might you describe the emotions you are experiencing about this situation?
  • What are the questions you are asking yourself about the conflict? Yourself? The other person?
  • Which one of your questions (above) feels most compelling to answer?
  • Which one are you most afraid of answering?
  • Why do you fear those particular ones (your answer to the previous question)?
  • What question(s) need to be answered that you are not asking yourself?
  • What do you not know about yourself in the situation? About the other person?
  • What doesn’t the other person know about you?
  • What question(s) would you like to ask the other person?
  • What answer(s) might the other person give that would help you most?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?


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