art work by John Ceprano
CINERGY (tm) - Peacebuilding... one person at a time


There are so many quotes that I find interesting and this is one of them. I don’t know who wrote it, but it is a variation of similar sentiments expressed in other quotes that I also like such as, “What others think of me is none of my business”. My blog this week is about the underlying theme of these quotes as they pertain to how we think we are perceived and how this may contribute to conflict.

Think for a moment about a certain relationship in which things are unsettled. You may have had a falling out – or not – but, there is tension between you and a friend, colleague or family member and it’s creating anxiety and uncertainty. You may have made assumptions about the other person and their reasons for conducting themselves in certain ways that add to your growing apprehension about them and your relationship. This likely works both ways. That is, not only might you be perceiving things about the other that may (or may not) apply. They are also about you.

It is also common to create versions in our minds about the other person’s perceptions of us. We might let such thoughts enter our minds as we process the conflict and the impact it is having. And, the versions we and the other person create about one another may or may not be real. In any case, as the quote says, the other person is not responsible for our perceptions of them. Nor, are we responsible for their perceptions of us. Our perceptions are just that – they are what we each conjure up as a consequence of the emotions and other dynamic occurring between us.

If this topic appeals to you, consider these questions and see if any resonate for you:

  • What conflict already happened or is currently going on between you and the other person that has led to you wondering about their perceptions of you?
  • How, more specifically, might the other person have made those perceptions (i.e. what did you say or do or not say or do)?
  • What part of what they might be perceiving is not legitimate based on your interactions?
  • As far as you can tell, what version of you or the events between you that the other person is holding onto might be prolonging resolution of the conflict? How might you find out their version?
  • What perception do you have of the other person and their contribution?
  • What might they say they do not own about your perception(s)?
  • As far as you can tell, what about your perception of that person and the events is prolonging the conflict?
  • In what ways is the person’s version of you your responsibility? How so?
  • In what way is your version of the other person their responsibility? How so?
  • What version of the conflict and the other person might you consider as possible to help facilitate a shift in your thinking and feelings?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?


This entry was posted in Conflict Coaching, Conflict Management Coaching. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *