Wednesday, February 6, 2013


When children say “NO” and refuse to listen it is often to differentiate themselves from their parents – to define themselves as separate.

This can be a very healthy response to learning about boundaries. 

However, after our teenage years our boundaries are hopefully strong enough – and flexible enough – for us to be able to listen to others without fearing annihilation or loss of self.

An opportunity to experiment with some fun ideas...

Think back to the last right/wrong argument you had. 

Try answering the following questions:

How far back do you need to go to find that last argument?  For most of us it’s not too far…

What was the argument about? 
Can you remember the details? 
From your current perspective do you think they were really important? 

What were your feelings about the other person as you argued? 
Appreciation?  Generosity?  Contempt?

What words would you use right now to explain their position? 
How about yours?

Looking back on this disagreement, how could it have been played out differently?

What would have needed to happen in order for it to be a win/win?

        If we think “compromise” means giving in, it becomes a dirty word.

       Maybe a new paradigm would be GIVE-AND-TAKE!

       What do you think?

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  1. This was very powerful for me. When I thought back to my last 2 arguments I realized that underneath the need to win was the fact that what the other person was insisting on frightened me! Their perspective seemed really crazy and irrational. I thought if I could convince them then what they did then couldn't harm me - Does anyone out there know what I'm talking about?

  2. When I answered these questions I realized how naive my own behavior has been. Like hitting my head against a stone wall!

    1. Yeah, but that arguing back is almost a reflex! Before I know it I'm right in the middle of an awful no-win argument!