How do you break out of conflict? Have you ever been so angry and cross with a colleague or family member that their very presence makes you angry. In this book they explore how are very actions to correct or punish another person drives them to the very behaviours we don’t want to happen.
This is the scariest part of the book – that if we want to reduce conflict with another person we must start with our own heart. To see the good in the other person (Even for their wrongs), to see them as vulnerable and flawed, just as ourselves,#.
With that heart then rather than dealing with the things that are going wrong – helping things go right.
As a parent, I can see it is very easy to tell and demand of my children. That fear might instil temporary obedience or obedience when I am there, but it is unlikely to make real change. I saw it in myself, when we had a very demanding History teacher. He got everyone to be quiet and respectful, and we learnt our answers. but I hated the subject and dropped it like a stone. It didn’t make me more obedient in general; I just saw this teacher as a bully with issue.
And seeing him in a black and white cartoon character is the heart of conflict. He becomes the heart of blame, and the place to shift all my inadequacies.
If you have a chance to read this book, this may well transform all your relationships with those whom you feel angry with, wronged from. It doesn’t break the past but it breaks the future. The Arbinger Institute used this to bridge gaps between Israelis and Palestinians, to brake the cycle of history feeding a future of conflict.