Nobody likes to lose

Conflict:
a serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one
• a prolonged armed struggle
• an incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles, or interests
• Psychology: a condition in which a person experiences a clash of opposing wishes or needs

Arguments, disagreements, conflicts…. all involve emotional turmoil. That roller coaster of emotions we experience when we start, have and complete said argument, disagreement, and/or conflict. The I am right, you are wrong debate that we continue to have in our head no matter the subject material is what always got me. As the bout would progress, I would care less and less about the actual material at hand, and more about winning the argument.
I wanted to win the argument at all costs, because, well… nobody likes to lose – let alone be proven wrong!!!
I can remember changing my angle, my theory and even my entire opinion or feeling about the material presented just so I would win.
(something that would anger my ‘opponent’ to no end, because I had just agreed with them on some level)

Over the years, after A LOT of arguing, a lot of fighting, a lot of losing, a lot of winning and frankly realizing these type of interaction were WAY TOO COMMON in my life I decided to do some serious self-reflection. When I could finally admit that all I wanted to do was win, I realized it wasn’t even about the material. It was the emotional struggle. It was the will to win and the refusal to lose that mattered.

No one likes to be wrong. No one likes to lose. Everyone wants to be right. Everyone wants to win. And NO ONE will admit to it. We all have been guilty of being the “changer”. We all have ‘changed’ our game plan so that at the end of the bout – you came out on top. Even if that meant ‘changing’ your opinion.
The hard pill to swallow is that the minute you decide to ‘change’ your  game and/or ‘change’ your opinion the bout should have been over.

It’s the perception of losing that kills us. Even while we know that our original game plan was wrong and that our opponent has real, valid and valuable counterpoints we’d rather figure out a way to ‘change the game’ instead of admitting defeat.
It’s the perception of losing that kills us.
Hmm…

….


It’s the PERCEPTION of LOSING that KILLS US.

It’s the perception of losing that kills us.

It’s the perception that kills us.

In my epiphany, I realized that it wasn’t really about the argument, disagreement or conflict. It wasn’t about the material. It was about our perception of it all. Our perception of the other, our perception of the other’s opinions, principles and interests. Our perception of the outcome.

Maybe if I started to verbalize my perceptions, it might squelch the emotional fire?

So it began.

Every time I had a disagreement, argument or conflict I talked about my perception. What I thought, what I felt, what I saw, etc. Instead of pointing fingers and placing blame I would preface my thoughts and my intentions with ‘how I am perceiving’. Whether it was my own action of the action of my ‘opponent’, I continually used  perception as a means to communicate. I used it to level the playing field. I used it to eliminate the ‘defensiveness’ that is all too common in conflict.

And something miraculous happened. Conflicts were no longer ‘protracted’. They were no longer frequent. They were no longer emotionally draining.
They became concise. They became resolved. They became enlightening.

I no longer circled the drain of drama. Things got fixed.

To this very day I still utilize my ‘perception’ solution to conflict, both personally and professionally and it continues to serve me well. I guess the old mantra of ‘talking things out’ still holds true.

Image source: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/invader-zim/images/14315394/title/cat-fight-fanart

Post inspired by:

You’re in the middle of a terrible argument, and everyone turns to you to help resolve it. How do you respond? How do you react to conflict? Photographers, artists, poets: show us a CONFLICT.

via The Daily Post http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/daily-prompt-conflict/

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