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DIG for the Conflict

By Jeffrey Rubin, PhD

Jack's Picture cropedTo become a master at dealing with disrespectful acts, an important skill to learn is to identify the reason you are being treated this way.  In future blogs, I will discuss a total of eight reasons.  Today we’ll focus just on one of them.

Oftentimes the reason for the insulting behavior is that the insulter has a conflict with you. If you can quickly identify the conflict in very simple, clear terms, you will help both you and the other party to resolve the underlying cause for the disrespectful behavior.  Therefore, today’s blog post begins to teach you how to do this.  First, I’ll clarify what we mean when we use the word “conflict.”  Then I’ll teach you a simple strategy to summarize a conflict as you deal with disrespectful behavior.

WHAT IS A CONFLICT

dig2When I look to see if someone has a conflict, I think of the word DIG and it reminds me to dig to find what the person DESIRES in this situation, what is INTERFERING with the person’s desire, and whether or not the person believes someone is GUILTY of doing something wrong.

USING DIG TO HELP YOU DEAL WITH DISRESPECTFUL BEHAVIOR

 Suppose I mention an idea to Judy, and she responds as follows:

Illustration by Eric Sailer

Feeling that the way Judy yelled at me is insulting, I could yell back at her that she is stupid.  Would that help to resolve the conflict or make it more intense?

Consider another approach.  I respond to Judy in a very concerned way, saying “Wow, you really got upset about what I said.  Are you OK?”

digThen, as I listened in a caring manner to Judy’s reply, I look to see if she has a conflict with me.  I do this by remembering the word “DIG.”  That reminds me to look for Judy’s DESIRE, what she might think I did to INTERFERE with her desire, and what she thinks I am GUILTY of doing wrong.

Now, from Judy’s reply to me, I might not know for sure what the desire, the interfering act, or the guilt is in the conflict, and so, in a caring way I would ask her some questions to clarify this.  I might ask, for example, “Judy, from what you said, I think you desire from me that I don’t give you my opinion unless you ask for it.  Is that right?”

If you were to use this approach, you would show a genuine interest in why Judy is upset and that you care enough about her to try to clarify what the issues are.

There is far more to resolving a conflict then clearly identifying the conflict.  In future posts, step by step, we will be learning techniques for doing so.  But showing an interest in why someone is upset and clarifying the nature of the conflict are important first steps.
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Some people will enjoy reading this blog by beginning with the first post and then moving forward to the next more recent one; then to the next one; and so on. This permits readers to catch up on some ideas that were presented earlier and to move through all of the ideas in a systematic fashion to develop their emotional and social intelligence. To begin at the very first post you can click HERE.

Introducing a New Blog
Conflicts and Frustration

About the Author

Jeffrey Rubin grew up in Brooklyn, received his PhD from the University of Minnesota and has taught conflict resolution there as well as at a psychiatric clinic, a correctional facility and a number of public schools. He has published articles on anger and conflict resolution and has authored three novels.

13 Comments

  1. Summarize and Delay « Name Calling, Insults and Teasing
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    November 3, 2012 - 11:32 am

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    July 21, 2013 - 5:42 pm

  9. RESPONDING TO INSULTS BY IGNORING | Name Calling, Insults and Teasing
    November 24, 2013 - 8:42 am

  10. RESOLVING RECURRING CONFLICTS | Name Calling, Insults and Teasing
    February 16, 2014 - 1:23 pm

  11. READING ABOUT EMOTIONAL MATURITY IS OFTEN NOT ENOUGH | Name Calling, Insults and Teasing
    March 17, 2014 - 4:50 pm

  12. very much informative to deal with insults,,,goood

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