Sometimes I feel like I am a bit behind the rest of the world when it comes to communicating effectively. I often forget that not everyone sees the world the way I do, and when I rely on what I have been taught about dealing with conflict, I can really confuse the people around me.
The two biggest things challenges that have been brought to my attention as of late are 1) the belief that everything that goes wrong is about me and 2) my reaction to conflict is to remove the perceived problem, which in most cases I feel is me.
In the midst of conflict, I somehow revert to that child that was taught she was the problem in every situation. If someone is angry and upset, I must have done something wrong. Even if I am right, and someone is actually upset with me, I have trouble thinking beyond myself and asking, “Is my part really this big, or is there something else going on?” I forget that there are so many other things going on in the lives of others, and sometimes people are just venting to me, not really as angry at me as I perceive.
When I do feel I am the problem, once again, I rely on the old lessons and tend to believe that if I just give them space…if I go away for a bit, everything will be ok again. What I fail to understand is that not everyone is really that angry at me…not everyone needs me to disappear. When I go away, most people feel I am walking out, abandoning them, running away from the problem, or all of the above. I never really realized that people felt this way, and it’s been a real eye opener to hear others say to me that they feel I am acting differently toward them, when in fact I am just giving them space.
I am going to have to really work on finding ways to snap myself out of the “it’s always my fault” mentality in the midst of conflict. I am not really sure where to start with this, but I am guessing it’s much like having a flashback, I just need to find ways to ground myself better. I do believe, however, that if I ask if someone needs space rather than just assuming they do and giving it, I can resolve my other problem quite easily.
There is still so much to learn…