Tag Archives: Conflict management

Controlling Relationships more thoughts..

Stef gave me some good feedback and I want to add to it. I always asked who, what, when, where, why, and how. I didn’t realize it was breaking her down emotionally and making her a miserable person. I never knew saying don’t do this or that was so bad. Most concerns are not really concerns because they are our own insecurities. 

I love her very much, and my actions reflect those changes I promised her. She is seeing a man on a mission everyday. I am finally her rock. She can count on me to love her the right way and take care of her and the family emotionally and financially. Thank you my love.


Turning Point

In each of our lives there is a turning point. It usually comes when we have been slapped in the face by an event so brutal we have to make a change. We have to decide if we are going to move forward, or if we are willing to lose those close to us. It is in these moments we can completely change who we are or we can continue on a path of self destruction and pain.

 

When you decide to change, throw yourself into it. Be the person you always knew you could be. Be honest, loyal, caring, passionate, and loving. Life is about our relationships with those who completely love us with all their hearts. Love them back, and embrace them every chance you get like it will be the last time you will ever see them. When you do not give yourself totally to the process, you not only let yourself down, you let those who gave you a chance down. Moreover, you will never know the relationships full potential.

 

What does a turning point represent? It represents a new beginning, and it is one of the greatest moments in your life because it is your transition from being selfish to being selfless. Priorities change. You no longer worry about your own needs, and you put the needs of your significant other before your own. Things that meant most to you take a back seat to spending time with those you love the most. Your behavior changes drastically because there is nothing you would ever do to cause the other person a once of pain. Instead, you work, tirelessly to show them every day you are the person you now claim to be. Old behaviors do not exist. You have been reborn and someone has given you an opportunity to take their hand and experience life filled with love, joy, and happiness. The ultimate sign of the turning point is asking someone to marry you. You are clearly saying that there is nothing in this world I love or cherish more than you. You are my everything, and you are the sole person on this planet I have chosen to be with.

 

When someone talks to you about getting married, there should be no doubt in your mind this person truly loves you. The honorable thing to do is to be honest about your feelings. Either you really hope they will marry you and you commit your life to them, or be honest and tell them the truth. Nothing is more embarrassing or painful than when someone wants to get married only to find out the other person is still into games like lying, cheating, texting, and meeting other people. Throw yourself into the new you, never look back, and let that person love you like there is no tomorrow.

 

The turning point is about personal growth, and the appreciation of life. It is about appreciating someone who has picked you out of a sea of people in the world to spend the rest of their life with on this planet. Show them everyday you are capable of earning and deserving their love. If you do, I can assure you that the happiest days of your life lay ahead of you.

 

 

James Joyce said, “Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star.”

 


Forgiveness

In broken relationships and marriages, forgiveness is probably the hardest thing to do when the person you trusted has hurt you. Revenge becomes your immediate goal instead of trying to understand, fix, and heal. When trust is lost, it takes a huge amount of work to get it back, but it is not impossible. It takes work, dedication, and consistency to get through it. However, no matter how hard you work, if the other person cannot forgive you, then you will never move forward.

Why is forgiveness important? To those who believe in the Bible, it states, “to err is human and to forgive is divine.” Forgiveness starts the healing process, and it allows those involved to rebuild their relationship if they choose to do so. Forgiveness does not condone any thing, but it is the initial step to move forward, leaving behind the hate and pain. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness or vulnerability. It promotes strength and health, and it gets rid of the depression and hatred. The key is once you have been forgiven, you learn from it and change your behavior forever.

After forgiveness has been established, trust has to be restored. Allwomentalk.com provides 9 ways to help rebuild trust. 1. Admit your mistakes. 2. Be humble 3. Have patience 4. Noticeable changes 5. Don’t forget the little things 6. Never, never lie!- I cannot overstate the importance of lying. You cannot move forward if you continue to lie. It causes more hatred, more issues of mistrust, it damages your integrity, it damages your relationship, and you could end up losing the best person who has ever walked into your life. 7. Keep your issues private- There is no need to tell your kids, your friends, family, or anyone else except a relationship professional about what is going on. Many times the people you think you can trust will have alterative motives, and they will try to persuade you to think and act a certain way to meet their own personal agenda. 8. Be thoughtful 9. Do not make the same mistake twice.

Forgiveness is a process, and it is not as easy as cutting the lights on or off. There are a lot of emotions, but if two people are committed to one another, they can get through it TOGETHER. There is another side of forgiveness I would like to mention. There seems to be some confusion that when someone forgives, they are condoning the behavior of the other person. In contrast, what is really happening is the person forgiving no longer is ACTING like the victim. I am not saying they are not the victim per se, but they have decided to not act like one… i.e. revenge, more lying, bringing up the past, depression, or threat of suicide. They have decided to give the person and the relationship an honest chance at rebuilding. In many cases, the forgiveness brings them closer together and makes them stronger. More than anything it provides a wider lens and perspective to past, current, and future events.

In the end, only you can decide if you want to continue to live in misery and despair, or you can forgive, learn from it, and make yourself and the relationship better. To reiterate, forgiveness is not a sign of weakness. Instead, it is a sign of strength, fortitude, and resiliency. Reinhold Niebuhr said it best, “forgiveness is the final form of love.”


Why is there so much violence?

There is so much violence around the world and in the United States. I believe the very freedoms we enjoy are also the Achilles Heel of much of what we deal with. There has been a culture change and numbness to violence. While I use to believe video games and embedded journalism should have no restrictions placed on them, what I have come to realize that maybe they should. Our society is a very volatile one. We care more about proving a point than rallying together regardless of race, sex, or sexual orientation. We are a free society for a reason, but there comes responsibility with those very freedoms as well. Ownership, hold yourself accountable for your actions and inactions. Violence and threats solve nothing. The senseless killing of one another does nothing more than create more violence. It is so easy to pick up a gun and shoot someone rather than talk things through. Diplomacy and active listening are lost arts. People are more willing to jump to conclusions based on a lack of information than they are to hear what the other person has to say.

 

Even as a conflict resolution expert, I struggle with my own life. No one is perfect. Treat everyone as they want to be treated. Look past the color of skin, a uniform, and hearsay. Talk through problems. People are so quick to walk away from an issue or problem rather than giving everyone the opportunity to say what they need to say. People assume the worse in each other, when there is a lot of good in them as well.

 

It is more obvious now more than ever that each person has the ability to kill. However, we choose not too based on the norms of society, and based on rational thinking. Others, let their emotions get the best of them, and even when they are trying to prove a point they end up looking like babbling psychopaths. The extremism and radicalism of racial and religious divide in the world is out of control. Ignorance instead of tolerance is becoming the norm. People are unwilling to compromise and just agree to disagree. You may not agree with what the other person believes in or what they do in their lives, but it does not excuse you to use violence. Instead, it is an opportunity to learn more about an issue from a different perspective. Your way is not the only way, it is just a way. While some will argue violence is the only way to create change, I will argue that it is only a short term solution. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. Most of the violence seen around the world is an excuse for criminals to be criminals, and they will look for any excuse or opportunity to create chaos and destruction. In the end, there is so much violence because people lack the coping skills to deal with sensitive issues, and they resort to violence in order to fill the void their knowledge, skills, and ability lack.

 

 


Emotions

There is a delicate line we must balance when dealing with our emotions. On one hand, the excitement and happiness we experience are feelings we never want to go away. Yet, the pain and suffering we experience are feelings we search for answers too. Some people do not wish the harsh reality of life on others, and there are some who wish for the very worst on others. Especially if they feel as though someone is responsible for those negative emotions.

 

Sometimes we forget just how powerful our emotions can be. They have the ability to consume us to our core, and they cause us to do things we usually would not do under normal circumstances. Look at any conflict and you will see how the emotions of each stake holder played a role in how the conflict was managed or resolved. It is about perspective, understanding, emotional control, acceptance, finding peace, and knowing our limitations.

 

Jim Camp, in an article titled, “Decisions are Emotional, Not Logical: The Neuroscience behind Decision Making” argues that emotions, not logic are the driving force in decision making. Negotiators are doomed to fail if they think facts, statistics, reason, and logic are going to win. These things are only one side of the conflict. You cannot tell someone what to think, how to feel, or what is best for them. Instead, you help them discover what is best for them, what feels right, and what gives them the most advantage. It is human nature that decision making be based on personal interest. Camp goes on to say that when we reveal the problems, pain, and unmet objectives can you start the healing or resolution process by helping them build a vision for themselves.

 

Emotions play a definitive role in our decision making process. Good or bad, these decisions can have dire consequences for those involved. Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at the over all picture, not just the immediate one, and think before acting. In the end, only you can control you, while other people may influence you, you are solely responsible for your actions or inaction’s.


How to be Successful in Life

Jeff Boss, a contributor for Entrepreneur, as someone who has been through Navy SEAL training, connects the mindset of a SEAL to everyday life in business.

“Training, learning, and improvement never end” You have to constantly strive to be better than you were the day before. We can always learn something from everyone, so do not be close minded to think you know everything.

“You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it” Whether or not you agree with the choices being made, you are going to have to do it anyway, so you should make the best of the situation and do the best you can. Lead by example, because your attitude can be the difference between others accepting it or creating more animosity.

“There is always a price to pay” Some things are bigger than the individual. Remember there are egos, lives, and livelihoods at stake when things go bad. The best thing you can do is always accept responsibility for your actions, learn from your mistakes and acknowledge them. There is a lot to be said about humility. This is what separates average people from exceptional leaders.

“Contrary to popular belief, there are stupid questions” Stupid people ask stupid questions. Boss makes it very clear by stating, “We live with the power of choice.” If you chose to do wrong, be willing to reap the rewards, or in this case the punishment. Again, accept responsibility for your actions,

“Two ways to do something, the right way, and again.” Take the time to do it right the first time. Train hard, and know your job, skill, and your limitations. If you are lacking in some area, take the time to practice. Do what it takes to be better than just average.

“Mind over matter, If I don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter” There are some things you can not change, so do not fight them. This is not to say you shouldn’t voice your concerns, because you definitely should. However, every situation dictates a different approach, and the team will either rejoice or suffer because of your actions.

“Change happens when you least expect it, and it lasts indefinitely” “Preparation won’t suffice, but adaptability will” We each have the ability to succeed as long as we are willing to accept change and adapt from it. The entire team has to be on the same page, and each member must be held accountable for their ability or inability to get the job done.  When it is all said and done, “preparation is the byproduct of a willingness to try.”

“Quitters” Anyone can be a quitter, but it takes a unique person to dig deep and suck it up when it gets tough. A strong team will be there to support you no matter the circumstances. Quitters are weak minded, lack goals, vision, and the mental capacity to get things done, and they are willing to let their personal issues or pain get in the way of accomplishing their goals.

It is easy to be an individual, but it is harder to work as a team. Most people do not want to deal with other people’s deficiencies. They are not willing to take the time to speak frankly and lend a hand. Everyone takes criticism differently, so you learn as much as you can about the members on your team. Balance one another, and take the time to bring them up to speed in deficient areas.


Is violence a necessary part of international conflict?

Recently, I ran into an interesting debate about the field of conflict analysis & resolution. On one hand, we as peace practitioners are concerned with understanding the underlying issues of the conflict, examining them from unbiased perspectives, breaking them down to their core so we can expose all possible avenues of the conflict to those involved, and if we are lucky, we will take the information and provide multiple avenues of management or resolution. Safety and security are the number one priorities in any conflict analysis situation. However, there seems to be a stigma in our field that everything in conflict analysis and resolution must be based on the best practices of preserving peace and tranquility, the pictures of the 1969’s Woodstock, NY concerts come to many peoples mind. In my opinion, this undermines the true meaning of conflict analysis and the hard work many people in our field deal with everyday.

While many institutions preach the value of creating and sustaining peace, they fall short by not equally discussing that violence is necessary in some cases or at the very least, these institutions should provide a realist perspective to conflict. I am not condoning or suggesting any type of violence in the workplace, relationships, or any other forum to resolve conflict. I am saying there are people who must be eliminated for the common good. More specifically, extremist such as: Hitler and Osama Bin Laden. The reality is war and violence is sometimes necessary to ensure the safety and security of all stakeholders. This does NOT include or encourage any civil violence or civil disturbances, nor does it condone to take action into your on hands. Nor does it condone the violence against one another in developed worlds or in the United States like the violence we are seeing against police officers. This is murder, it does not solve problems, and it is ignorant for anyone to think other wise. However, from an international perspective, violence becomes a necessary extension of conflict management or resolution, i.e. against ISIL and ISIS.  While violence is usually considered to be the last option, there are times when it is the only option. It must be noted, violence alone does not solve problems, but when it is combined with other techniques it can be very useful. What would the United States look like today if we did not get involved during Word War II?

There are social and political issues that most governments are unable to meet, and these are the most basic human needs of the population, not to mention the psychological aspects that have long lasting effects, directly effecting the future actions of those involved if not addressed early. This is why many people turn to extremist because they have the ability to provide goods and services the government cannot provide. In his research, On Peace in Times of War: Resolving Violent Conflicts by Peaceful Means, written by Juergen Dedring, he discusses the problems associated with the use of modern day techniques. The problem lies not with our ability to resolve conflict, but it is the method by which we try to resolve or mange conflict. The modern problem solving approach is based on rational actors. When conflict has escalated to the point of the use of violence, it is involving non-rational actors. The modern approach utilizes a theory based approach without the practical application needed to fully understand the importance of the stakeholders.

As practitioners, we must be able to think outside the box, and form solutions based on what the stakeholders deem most important, not the practitioner. A theory is only as good as the application. There is no cookbook approach to conflict resolution, especially in regards to the use of violence. We must go further than trying to understand the conflict, its background, its roots, culture, and people. We must approach it from every angle possible to facilitate a solution. Remember it is not your conflict. The stakeholders want to be ones who come up with the solution, because they are the ones who understand its nuances best. They may have multiple resolution or management solutions, but they lack the ability to implement or understand how to best implement the solutions. In Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans in the 90’s, violence is necessary in order to gain security and safety in order to start peaceful negotiations.

Academic institutions and practitioners should be honest when discussing conflict management and conflict resolution to their students. Regardless of the best intentions, peaceful negotiations may not always be in the best interest of those involved. While most programs believe firmly in the ability to resolve any conflict by non-violent means, it is not realistic, and it is not the world we live in. However, from an educational standpoint, it is important to discuss why violence should and should not be used. Weather or not you agree with war, if it were not for the men and women who put their lives in harms way everyday, you would not be enjoying the freedoms you take for granted.


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