CONFLICT RESOLUTION: HOLDING MY OWN BAG WHEN OTHER PERSON IS FLOODING
I am pleased with self. And with friend. Got got through a minefield moment ok.
Far Away Friend was going off on a touchy subject. Usually I let her go on but I take umbrage when she uses her words all weird. You can't sit there and complain to me about how "people behave in ways that are crap and wreck it for others with their bad behavior." And then be using language at me that DOES THE SAME THING. It pushed a button.
Ms Emotion: I am pissed. Hypocrisy!
MS Logic: This is your friend. Do not aim stupid emotion at her when clearly she is in fragile state. Control thyself.
I took a breath and let that initial GRR pass. I chose to assume positive intent. Maybe she did not mean
it the way it sounded? I tried to get the clarify.
Me: Slow down. I am not understanding.
Ms Emotion: Dammit. Stop yammering. LISTEN. Am I am Ear here or Ear with feedback?
Ms Logic: You did not ask for the clarify FIRST before conversing. Own it.
Ms: Emotion: Dammit. I am pissed at me for not getting the clarify.
I try to get the clarify.
Me: Listen. I am a logical person and I need to hear this information in step by step chunks with breaks in between. You are going much too fast. I cannot understand like this to reply.
Friend: I am insulted! You are saying I am stupid! ... yammer on in other direction about how people suck assuming she's stupid.
Ms Emotion: She pisses me off assuming negative intent when I assume positive intent and try to get clarify. Will not GIVE clarify at start. Will not GIVE clarify when asked. Why does she get to be brat? I want to be brat. I am mad too! Grrr!
Ms Logic: Fragile person behaving all stupid ass flooded. Do not aim ugh at Best Friend. Try again, other angle.
Ms Emotion: I resent having to be all mature. I want to be a brat!
Ms: Logic: Try again, Other angle. Not about what YOU want here. It is about what is needed in situation if goal is understanding. Is understanding still the goal?
Ms Emotion: Sulky. Yes. (Still wanna complain tho.)
Ms Logic: Complain later elsewhere. Try other angle.
I choose to take a deep breath and try again. Reframe and restate my position, give her some reassure even tho she was pissing me off, give her specific directions for WHAT TO DO so she can latch on to it and do it, end on what I want most. Please hear me!
Basically do what I want done to ME when I am flooding.
Me: No. You are assuming. Hon, I've been your friend for years. I am trying to communicate MY weakness here. I had abused friend drama this weekend. So I am depleted. I lack sleep. I am not sharp. Now you are telling me new information in a too fast speed.
I am telling you I feel the need to hear information presented to me in a slower speed, one step at a time logical format. Like 1, 2, 3.
I am not saying you are stupid. I have been your friend for decades. Why would I be your friend this long if I thought you were stupid?
Please tell me your information in bite size chunks. 1, 2, 3. Please do not assume. Please hear me.
Friend: Oh. (long ass pause of silence. ) Chunk 1.
Me: Ok. Got chunk 1. I'm ready for next chunk.
Friend: Chunk 2.
Me: Alright. I got it. Chunk 2. Next?
Friend: Well, then chunk 3 happened.
Me: And did you ___ ?
Friend: Yes. I did ___. I also did ____.
Ms Logic: Note her excited voice there. She's close to wigginz again. Avoid! Do not press on the ouchie place!
Ms Emotion: Nrgh. Wanna push the ouchie place. She was pushing mine. Grr.
Ms Logic: Not constructive or productive. Back off. Keep main goal in mind -- reach understanding.
Me: Alright. Next chunk. (tense, holding breath, hoping to avoid ouchie)
Friend: Well chunk 4 then. (she kept it short this time instead of blow up)
Me: Alright. (breathing sigh we avoided the minefield place now that I knew where it was hiding.)
Is it feedback time? (ask permission first so she cannot bitch at me later about me giving unasked for advice.)
Me: While I agree with you in the GLOBAL sense that it was a crap thing and I see where you are feeling all argh about it? And justly so? (Validate, affirm because I actually did agree on that part.)
Ms Emotion: Even if she's being persnickety.Enter Ms Dipomatic.
Ms Logic: Cope. You've had your turns at fusspot. This one is not your turn.
Ms Emotion: sulk
I do not understand why you expose yourself to this. Why choose to go there? Esp when you come BACK from exposure you snap at your loved ones. (Focus on BEHAVIORS and ACTIONS. Not TALKS OR FEELS.)
I mean, you just got all "rrrrrraaaawwwrrr!" at ME like a cat with claws out.
How do you help create and achieve your goal of a climate of non-fear? (hold up goal)
How can you take away from the problem by your actions and behavior to help create that climate of compassion you want to create?
How can you use your action and behavior to not add to the problem and create a climate of fear? (Hold up logic -- the testing of "reasonable" and "realistic" has to happen.)
Could you pace yourself better and take breaks? Not work yourself down to nubbins? (Offer possible way to go.)
I am not saying your cause is not just and your feeling is not correct or that your goal is not worthy. All are good. (Re validate and reaffirm because I heard some dragon snorting happening over the line.)
I am concerned, as your friend -- that your PACING on this is gonna run you ragged and damage your health. Maybe damage relationships. Is your goal of creating climate of non-fear and creating climate of compassion achieved most effectively then? For the situation AND for your life/health?
Friend: Oh. (long ass pause.) Yeah. I am sorry. That was bad.
Me: Yes. Forgiven. But as your friend, I have to hold up a mirror to your behavior -- if the goal really is to create a new climate of non-fear? I do not think the approach of "GRRR! DO WHAT I SAY!" is the best approach. That is all I am trying to say. I know you feel frustrated. But focus on what you want here. Protect your OWN health buckets too -- mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health while you are going after it.
Ms Emotion: Damn tootin' -- I can't be having with this. You acting all poo poo at me.
Ms Logical: Chill. Let her digest information..
Friend: (long ass pause.) Sigh. You have no idea what a relief it is to be understood.
Ms Emotion: Yay. Maybe she will stop poo poo!
Ms Logical: I think goal of understanding has been achieved. Good job. Stand Down. Logic function no longer needed on high alert for minefield avoiding.
Me: I do know. I do understand. (there, there.)
But PACE yourself here, hon. You are gonna blow! And I need YOU to understand that I am your friend, and I will always be your friend. But don't assume things with me. Do you wonder what you assume of other people? If that helps or hinders your understanding of them? Or they of you? (New things for her to think about.)
Keep doing this work you love even if it is taxing -- but could consider thinking about your communication skills. Could look up Non-violent Communication online... are you taking all the tools you need when you go out there to do that job? The best tools to aid you? Are you pacing yourself to endure and make it to the end? It's not about speed here. It's about getting there. (Offer more suggestions for how to meet her goal better.)
Friend: Yeah. I could think on that. Thanks.
So we talked some more and enjoyed the phone chat and she felt better for the vent and I felt better for calling her into account when she got all persnickety. Covered the kids and fam and had a nice phone visit. In the Global Macrocosm Sense? We are all good. In service to a long term friendship I'm willing to endure some poopoo with my friend. We all have those moments. She's endured ME being all poopoohead sometimes too. I love her dearly.
In the specific Individual Personal Microcosm sense?
Ms Emotion: Miffed! I no likey poo poo things!
That speaks to me being depleted over the weekend. It's like telenovela time, man. And not even a funny one. I had hoped this phone visit would bring me relief not more poopoo, even if minor poo. I need to do some self care and go look at funny stuff or watch a funny movie or read a funny book. Because yeah. Holding MY own bag sometimes sucks too.
In my Mind's Eye I went all Telenovela and indulged my inner toddler. Just smacked smacked stuff up with a broom. Smack! Threw all the crayons out of the box. POW! Went all "No soup for you!"
unreasonable rather than being patient. I should get a Juliet hat to wear and stand on boxes and just scream at random too.
"Ay! Ay! Ay!"
Behave all kinds of wacko. Just for the hell of it. LOL.