A Powerful Tool to Go From Conflict to Peace
I want to discuss with you one of the most powerful tools I know that can de-escalate conflict. This tool can be used with your intimate partner as well as in any relationship. It is particularly useful at this time of the year when underlying conflicts seem to come to the surface. (I am already seeing it in the phone calls I am getting since last week and continuing this week).
This tool is called the DISARMING TECHNIQUE. It does exactly what it says- it disarms the other person. If the other person is angry, this tool is the fastest way to soothe the other person; you can actually see the lion (or lioness) become a lamb after using this simple and powerful technique. When someone is angry with you or judging you or complaining about you, your reflex (as mine) is to defend, debate or in some other way react. However, it is very possible to train yourself to do something else far more effective. So, here it is:
Look for the truth in what the other person is saying even if it seems mostly untrue or unfair.
Then back up what you are “seeing” with words.
For example- if your partner is complaining that you don’t listen, instead of defending yourself or making excuses, you can say something like:
You know, you are right- there are those times when I don’t listen and we just had one of those moments. I could imagine how frustrating that is for you.
There you will see it- he or she will go from lion (ness) to lamb) right before your very eyes.
Why don’t you typically do this even though it could make your relationship and life instantly better? It might be because you automatically focus on what is not true in what your partner is complaining about. Maybe, you immediately think about the times that you DO listen that he or she is not bringing up. Or maybe you are thinking about how he or she doesn’t listen to you! We relieve that “cognitive dissonance” by reacting and it continually gives us more of what we don’t want.
Since I know you want more of that you DO want from your partner and others, try this DISARMING TECHNIQUE and tell me how it is working for you.