As a people we are fundamentally interconnected to all life and other beings. The ability to empathize with other life is hardwired into our biology. Mirror Neurons are cells within the brain that react to stimuli as if we were being affected.
Related Keys to Living - Positive and Negative Knowledge: Fearlessness, Self Mastery and Healing the body
In these awakening times, where the realities of interconnectedness are finally being rediscovered, we have access to knowledge that can help us heal ourselves and our relationships with others. For it is the collective power of each person's consciousness that manifests the world in which we all live. Instead of wasting our creative energy fighting amongst ourselves why not work together to create prosperity for all?
But what makes us get into conflict in the first place? The answer to this question penetrates to the core of what makes us who we are, that we are ultimately aspects of a singular and all encompassing consciousness, experiencing life in a dream of illusory separation. Other people are essentially reflections of ourselves and as such when we perceive another person rejecting our point of view, this causes us to feel hurt and harmed, because literally an aspect of who we are is not in harmony with us.
In this space of emotional instability a storm of conflict can grow, fueled by a primal desire to be accepted and loved. Since love and acceptance is ultimately what we seek from others, finding away to first give ourselves love so as to heal the inner discord and then acting compassionately with others is the foundation for all conflict resolution.
For how can we hope to have another accept our point of view if we cannot find a way to accept theirs?
Discourse is a term referring to a mutual exchange of ideas; a discussion. In most cases an argument is created because this flow of ideas, the metaphysical currency of consciousness, is being blocked by a defensive reaction; fear. In most cases there are beliefs, worldviews or perspectives that are being challenged by another, and this threatens our sense of self (the ego) potentially causing an emotional reaction of defensiveness.
The following excerpt is from an article discussing a diagram called the Argument Pyramid. Since the flow of ideas is an expression of our unique perspective, an aspect of who we are, the goal of discussion is to communicate and receive concepts. And when this flow stops, when we fall away from a central point of discussion, this is where argument tends to develop.
Here is the excerpt:
"I know that everyone is doing the best they can with with they have to work with and my goal in making light of these logical errors is not to judge the people harshly, only their stated process. I'll refer to the argument pyramid again as a good tool for developing techniques to discuss information rationally and without it turning into a shouting match.
The goal of any discussion about ideas, beliefs or points of view is ideally done by sharing information completely, as it relates to a central point. This is not to force another to accept our beliefs, in fact a good discussion should challenge our accepted truths, expanding them with insights and enriching our point of view in the process.
When a conversation devolves into an argument, it is usually because the beliefs we need for emotional support are being challenged. This is when discussion turns to argument; what is now known as trolling. And this happens for a very good reason, because we derive our emotional support from our knowledge base; what we accept as truth, known as beliefs. Recognizing this psychology can help us realize the wisdom of not taking anything personally. People defend their beliefs because of their personal needs, not because they want to offend you; in most cases. And even if they do want to cause offense, we can recognize that as a defensive stance on their part, without creating the emotional charge of being offended for ourselves.
I am hardly a perfect example of objective discussion and diplomacy, but ideally when someone is diverging away from the central point, I try to address their emotional charge using compassion and understanding. Rejecting someone's point of view usually creates further argument, as they try and justify their position. By accepting their position as is, and then building from there using compassionate questioning, we can attempt to create an emotionally easy space for vulnerability. This acknowledges the fact that the central point is no longer being discussed and attempts to address the emotional needs of others.
If as individuals, we can learn to recognize when discussion goes off course, then it will help us avoid being dragged into an emotionally charged situation, while at the same time avoiding further conflict using reactionary comments on our part.
We get all sorts of incendiary comments on the blog and social media. Here is a good example from a Facebook share of the Summary of Cosmic Disclosure Episode 10:
"You know, I can't watch these guys cause their so interested in making money."Is this person speaking to a central point that was covered in the article? No. They have diverted off course, but in doing so made plain where they are in their discernment. They have a bias towards money, which clouds their rational processes when considering the data presented. In this case responding with consternation and indignation will only create additional emotional haziness that makes honest discussion all the more difficult.
I responded with the following:
"What makes you think making money some how disproves the data offered? Granted there are lots of examples of people receiving money who are dishonest, but I am not sure that is what is happening here. I'd love to know how you came to this decision."I attempted to un-confrontationally address the irrationality of their position, while at the same time accepting their point of view with compassion. This can work even with those who are actively using harsh language to stir conflict. When we remain objective and speak to the points of issue, avoiding the temptation to fall off the tip of the pyramid, it deflates the energy of the argument in most cases. Additionally other people watching from the sidelines can observe a more grounded approach.
In law this is called conditional acceptance, where one party's perspective is acknowledge by the other party, while a the same time citing inconsistencies in an inquisitive way. Free will beings have different points of view as an inherent property of existence, therefore accepting their currant position will help create a space for vulnerability while focusing on the critical points of discussion.
There have been several times we used compassionate techniques to quell an argument, and in doing so, realized that we had much more in common then we initially thought. In some cases we ended up making new friends and allies simply by working through the initial battlements of a conversation.
Again I am not trying to hold myself up as a guru of diplomacy, but I will say that almost all of us are quick to react defensively, and if we can stay grounded and calm, it will help unify the horribly divided truther community." - END OF EXCERPT
In my view, we have farm more to unify on then to let divide us. In our present day and age, it is perfectly acceptable to argue and conflict with others and it is even encouraged by society to polarize in groups which are focused only on hating or rejecting something. But the cost of fighting amongst ourselves is socially destructive and causes us internal pain from rejection.
By developing the ability to use skills of compassion and empathy, by honoring the free will and points of view of others, we can resolve conflict and finally recognize the advantages of cooperation. For our world could be a paradise of abundance if we only set aside petty differences and worked together to ensure a prosperous future for all life.
Related How to Access your Absolute Value - Manifesting Paradise through acknowledging our place in the Universal Community
Source - Jeremy McDonald
Each one of us in our daily lives runs across many situations of conflict and these situations pop up in our lives over and over again to help us grow. So we can choose to take them as something happening to us or we can choose to navigate through them with the idea that each situation has been presented to us as an opportunity.
Basically, in short we can either choose to be a victim and look at the world as beating us down or we can flip that idea around and see it as always working in our favor. Even the times that are tough become positive when we become grateful for opportunities that help us grow.
When it comes to conflict between people we could consider the following ideas to help us navigate through these situations and come out on the other end as a win-win situation for both parties.
1. Give up the need to be "RIGHT"
I've honestly found in most conflict, arguments and disagreements there is a serious breakdown in communication. Often times I work with people and I ask them have you spoke to the person you are upset about? I usually get a very aggressive response stating they have tried but no one is listening!
As I probe deeper into the topic, I typically find the individual is upset because the person they are upset with will not "change" so they themselves can feel better.
It's very interesting to watch "we have all done it" we think to ourselves if "THEY" would just listen to me everything would be fine! Or if they would just stop and listen to me they would see how I am feeling!
I can tell you in these scenarios the person who is upset is also not listening to the person they are upset with either. As you can probably imagine they are also not listening to themselves. Overall, they are wanting the other person to see their point of view but at the same time they reject the other person's point of view.
This leads me to think about Stephen Covey and his writings on one of the Habits of Highly Successful people, which is: Seek First to Understand and then to Be Understood - Basically if you stop and LISTEN - Get Still and listen to not only the other persons needs but also to stop and get honest about what you are truly wanting you would be able to gain a clearer perspective.
Often times we are just upset and we are not thinking about what we are saying and not fully aware of what we are feeling. Which leads me to the next step...
2. Process your thoughts and understand them before you address them with another person.
Typically what I find is people allow things to build up and never really think about whatever is upsetting them. As they let their reactions build up and keep pushing the causes aside, this poison festers inside of them and leaves their mind to wander and think things that are either not true or are completely distorted.
This is why you should take sometime to think about what it is that is truly bothering you and while you are at it.. try to think about the other persons perspective while you are processing your own.
Once you have processed what is going on within you, if you still feel like you need to talk about your feelings then now you do so calmly.
3. Speak your truth and do it with compassion...
I can guarantee you nothing comes from yelling at another person or telling them what they are doing wrong.. if you spend your time speaking your truth by just addressing how many things another person is doing wrong then I can tell you it will push on their ego, and most likely it wont be received well...
Try saying this as you speak to others about what is bothering you:
"I need to talk to you about something that has been bothering me and let me start by saying my emotions in this situation are about me not about you... "
Then go on by saying:
"I wanted to know what you mean when you say ___________________ because I received it this way ________.
These two statements make sure that you take ownership for your feelings and are not projecting them on to the other person and you are also asking for clarification on what their intention was.
Which leads me to the next step...
4. We want to pay attention to another persons intentions
You have no idea how many times I work with couples, friends, co-workers that look at another and say "YOU ARE MAKING ME FEEL THIS WAY!" and the truth is no they are not. No one can make you feel emotions, only you can create that.. No one has this kind of power over you.. YOUR REACTIONS ARE YOUR OWN!
This is why asking for clarification one what another's intentions are helps you understand what they intended prior to expressing how you feel. [Even though a good intention can have negative effects, knowing the intention allows us to empathize with the other person, helping to calm reactionary emotions within.]
Recently, I had a friend accuse me of being rude on a social media site. While she was doing this, I was expressing to her what my intention was. As we continued speaking she insisted I needed to correct how I was treating her. I continued to ask her how is it that I can make you feel this way when my intention was coming from a place of curiosity and love? I finally had to back away from the conversation because the more I attempted to talk to her the more she got upset. In this instance she was basing her reactions on her perceptions of the situation and not what my true intentions were.
A person's intention is the most important part of communication and understanding them helps us really break down and streamline conflict resolution. This is because if you understand where someone is coming from then you can look at your own reaction and assess whether you need to look within yourself or set a boundary with your friend. [In other words, did they really intend to harm us or did I misperceive their behavior towards me?]
5. Communicate clear boundaries with people
There is nothing wrong with saying to people this is what I like or do not like; nothing at all. How we deliver this message is very important, for after we have gained clarification and after we have expressed how we have felt, we can say these are things I do not like or do like in a calm way. Once we have processed our own reaction and taken the time to understand another's perception, we then can share our boundaries from a place of mutual respect and love.
6. It's important to not feel the need to have the last word
Are you are a person who has the desire or need to have the last word all the time? Then stop and listen to what is going on inside of you. Why do you need to have the last word? If you begin to start thinking: "well they need to hear my perspective and they are not listening to me," then it's probably because your desire to be accepted is based on fear and not love. [If having the last word is about feeling like 'you've won the argument' then it shows you that your need for acceptance is probably co-dependent. Everyone at some level simply wants others to receive their point of view openly, and when people in our lives refuse to accept us, it can cause us to go on the attack. But by going within and realizing we can't force another to accept us, we can have patience and allow another to become still as well. Developing the ability to be patient helps avoid the feeling of urgency that can cause us to try and force others to accept our point of view.]
7. Use these tools for "SELF-ASSESSMENT" not for analyzing another person...
I know some of you are reading this and thinking about someone right now thinking "if they only followed this they would not have the problems they are having." Come on admit it? It's ok because we have all done this! Now stop and take a moment to turn the reflection inward and process the conflict for yourself; not another! [Our perspective on the conflict and how it makes us feel are the things that create emotional turbulence. By focusing on ourselves we can heal the inner angst and give ourselves the best chance to resolve the conflict with another by not maintaining a consciousness of reactivity. This helps us develop an appreciation for finding a mutually beneficial solution, instead of trying to force another to accept only our terms, conditions and perspectives. And if no resolution can be found at the moment, from this space of inner calm we can let it go to resolve the conflict another day; ideally after the other person has processed their own perspective.]
8. Last but not least and most important... You cannot, and I repeat, CANNOT change anybody!
I know we have all heard this but as our world changes and the dynamics of our relationships change our fearful mind can lash out and try to fulfill the need to feel better by controlling our surroundings; attempting to control others. This again is a time to stop and take a look at ourselves and use these steps as a guide to help us become more self aware.
[Self knowledge, understanding why we react, why we need to feel accepted, why what another person thinks is so important to us, is essential to resolving conflict because in truth the only real power we have is to change from within. Once we gain inner stillness, we can have compassion with others and share our perspectives without the need for them to be accepted. Honoring another person's perspective is honoring their free will choice and the deep psychology behind all conflict is a perception that our free will is not being honored. Ultimately the cause and solution to all conflict comes from the ability to empathize with another, to see with their eyes and in doing so honor their free will.
And if another person's desire is to cause harm to us, we can set a boundary that honors ourselves as well as the other person. This is the basis of morality, ethics and harmonious co-creation; the goal of justice and the golden rule. The ability to respect another's point of view completely, while at the same time ensuring they do not harm us or others.]
Once again realize that the whole world is presenting you with many opportunities to grow and develop yourself into a greater person. This is done so you can find a greater sense of peace, happiness and understanding of yourself and others.
Happy Self Awareness!
Also check out this article which goes into co-dependency as well as control dramas: http://www.jeremymcdonald.net/2013/12/you-cannot-rationalize-or-make-sense-of.html
Much love to you!
READ MORE from Jeremy McDonald @ jeremymcdonand.net
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