Today is Monday. I’m sitting at my desk with the gift of an hour at my disposal. I’m looking out on a sunny, green day with a cup of homemade almond milk. I pick up Melody Beattie’s book, The New Codependency and begin to read. I’m reading from a section called Breaking Free from the Control Trap and Getting Some Grace. I’ve underlined “Harmonizing demands setting aside ego and our need to win or be right. It doesn’t mean we’re weak, passive, or being doormats. The more powerful we are, the more we can use diplomacy to harmonize, negotiate, and live in peace. We’ll have enough esteem to be able to compromise and meet most people halfway.” Here are the steps to facilitating an argument:
1) Immediately (or as soon as possible) let go of resistance to the problem. Accept that it exists.
2) Release emotions first, before talking to the other person. We’re more effective if we’re calm and clear. When we communicate from an emotional base, our emotions are controlling us.
3) Set aside ego. Do you want to win or do you want peace?
4) Consciously see the other person’s POV. How would we feel if we were him or her?
5) As much as possible, acknowledge the validity of the other person’s POV. If you were going through what that person is going through, or came from where he or she did, maybe you’d feel and see things that way, too.
6) Propose creative solutions so all people get what they want. Is there a solution available that allows both people to win?
Does it seem to you that we could all learn a little something from Melody Beattie?