ARE THE DIFFERENCES
between us too great?
PREVIOUS: Disputes #1
⬅”BAYOU HUNTERS” by DMT
2. UNHEALTHY (Part 1)
3. HEALTHY Responding
✥ On the other hand if you & one other, or you & a group – who are in a specific disagreement – are willing to work things out, everyone must be able to communicate their side reasonably, using their Adult ego state. Strong emotions will always be part of those situations, especially from everyone’s WIC (most people have one), but must not be the driving force
Then there is usually a way to resolve the dispute without losing oneself or losing face. It includes the ability to identify the current issue causing the friction, for EACH side to admit if they were wrong (the 10th Step), to apologize for any ‘bad’ behavior & to explain what was really bothering them in the first place. Only then can you begin to rationally negotiate a limited compromise or figure out what’s beneficial to both sides.
Naturally, for this to happen, the person or group we’d be dealing with would have to have enough mental health so they can participate in this type of solution. One-sided efforts never work – where we are the only one always trying to be respectful & logical, or just giving in. (MORE….)
AN ASIDE: We’re familiar with the people who absolutely refuse to bend even a little on any point in dispute – the “Right-ists“.
⁉ More confusing: When both parties do own their part in the dissension (a P-A put-down, angry comment, a snubs, gossip….), identify where they’re coming from & apologize, BUT then realize they really do not want to continue their association. Both parties can be satisfied they’ve cleaned up their side of the street, but the difficulty highlighted an incompatibility already present.
For things to work out well – as much as possible, we need at least some awareness of each of the following points:
1. What are normal human needs / rights?
Coming from abusive & neglecting families, most ACoAs concluded that we don’t have any rights, & that we wouldn’t deserve them is we could imagine any! However, these are characteristics (in all 4 PMES categories) common to all human & also apply to us, absolutely
2. What is Mental Health vs. what are ACoA / narcissistic / dysfunctional patterns ? For the latter, we can review the posts: ACoA Laundry List // Are you an ACoA , & for the former: Character Traits & contrasts // Emotional Maturity…. as well as many books & websites.
3. What are my specific needs, wants, & BUTTONS?
This takes time & work – to identify needs, wants, dreams…. specific to us.
It includes doing family & personal inventories, & getting thoroughly acquainted with both our healthy & wounded Inner Children.
EXP of buttons:
🚺 Being accused wrongly / having to wait – for anything / not being understood / stupidity….
CHART: “Choosing relationship priorities… ”
4. Is what’s bothering me – a recurring pattern of behavior?
• New or brief acquaintances: If we thoroughly understand some dysfunctional way of thinking &/or acting and we’ve learned to trust our instincts, we can easily & quickly identify it in someone when we see it, even if we’ve just met or only known them a short time.
🎼 In case you doubt your ability to do this, CONSIDER: If you know a song very well, someone only needs to hum a few bars – for you to recognize it!
• Longer-term acquaintances: Being around someone for a some prolonged time allows us to observe their characteristic ways of thinking, gesturing, behaving, talking…..
The problem is not in our ability to ‘see’, but rather our childhood training to be in denial, & a current unwillingness to acknowledge anything we think is too painful to accept.
EXP: If they — often or always over-react, treat us unfairly, are verbally & emotionally disrespectful, always late, often cancel…..– it’s important to:
a. see these behaviors as the damage & abuse it is, and
b. not ignore what we see & feel, by pretending it’s not happening
NEXT: Dispute #3