Friday, February 2, 2018

The Art and Science of "Right" Resistance

My days typically begin and end in similar fashion.  I have two sons who are opposite in their ability to process sensory cues, concepts, and behavioral expectations. They often clash as they vie for position and power in their shared room. 

  Here's evidence from one of the peaceful moments I treasure.
When these two are at odds,
it's important to remember it's not 
all stress and trauma.
Bring out the photo books as needed!
Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Today my two characters (now ages 12 and 10) decided to argue over who leaves the room in the most disarray. (Disarray sounds so much better than effed up mess.)  

Child #1 "You always leave your clothes everywhere!  Why don't you ever make your bed?

Child #2 "What are you talking about? You leave your stuff all over the apartment!"

Child #1 "I'm tired of cleaning up after you! Make your @&*# bed."

Child #2 "Stop telling me what to do all the time! You're not perfect!"

Me:  "OK it's time to go to school." (Edited to spare you the mom speak that transpired.)

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

When I got my 12 year old into the car to drop him off at school, we had this conversation.

Me: "You know, there is a way you can put out that fire before things get so out of control."

12 year old:  "What do you mean, mom? (elevated voice)  Do you know what he said? He's always complaining about something! I'm so tired of it!"

Me: "I know. But at some point one of you is going to have to be okay with letting things go. What if you just told him, ' Okay, I'll pick up my clothes and make my bed. I know it bothers you' ?"

12 year old:  "That's never going to work."

Me:  "You're right. It probably won't work the first time. It may not even work the second or the third time. But if you want things to change for the better, then it has to start somewhere."

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

The issue between my sons is a great example of how many of us, even as adults, have a hard time backing down or admitting someone else may have a valid point.  We get so caught up in wanting to be right and relevant that the nuances of language and interpersonal communication get forgotten.  

Here are a few points to consider:

1.  You have permission to let go of an argument, especially when it begins to affect your personal health and well being. It doesn't make your opinions or views any less valid if you chose to take a break and rethink your position.  Let go of your need to be validated by someone with an opposing statement.

2.  If you realize that another person has a valid point, go ahead and acknowledge that point.  It may open the door and encourage others to do the same for you. Setting up camp is wonderful, but don't overlook the benefits of making your camp more comfortable and welcoming to visitors.  (Metaphor alert.)

3. Admitting you are wrong is actually a very mature skills, and too often we overlook the value of this skill.  It doesn't make you any less of a valued human being. Conversely, admitting fault has the potential for others to realize the same in themselves and create pathways toward communication.  We can all benefit from more ways to reach out and connect with others.

4.  Recognize that how we communicate, when we communicate, and the reasons we want to communicate have an impact on our ability to convey a message.  Consider your timing, strategies, and desired outcomes. Be okay when things do not go as planned with an initial attempt. Change is a process that requires time, patience, and perseverance. 

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

There are so many reasons we seek validation as humans. We desire to be acknowledged. We hope our ideas will be accepted. There is an on going quest for that stamp of approval from those in positions of authority.  Learning how to navigate that need for approval is an ever present challenge. If you want to gain valuable insight into acquiring self acceptance skills and figuring out how to communicate your concerns, here are a few articles I found that might be helpful.  


Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom


More Resources to Read
Note: Excerpts taken directly from article in posted links.

"The tendency to look at new evidence in a certain way, that confirms your existing hypothesis and conveniently ignore the facts that clash against your ideologies, has a fancy name in psychology:
Confirmation bias. Even the best of us have fallen for this bias."
* This author does drop a few "F" bombs in the article, so be forewarned.

"There are people whose minds are dead set on “I am right and you are wrong.” They are profiled as ones with big egos and very little empathy, specialists in continually raising disputes, capable craftsman in destabilizing harmony in every way.
Being right is something we all find satisfying, we can’t deny that. It reinforces our self-esteem. But most of us understand that there are limits, we know that it is vital to develop constructive attitudes, a humble outlook, and an empathetic heart capable of appreciating and respecting 
the views of others."
* This author provides stories to illustrate concepts.

"Take a moment and reflect on your relationships at work and at home and ask yourself, "how much does the 'I’m right, you’re wrong' dynamic play out in my everyday interactions?"
Most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, will find this dynamic a familiar companion in face-to-face conversations, on the phone or in emails and (especially) online. Either unconsciously or consciously, we often find ourselves in situations where we feel we need to be right. And not only do we need to be right, but to be right we need to make the other party be or feel wrong."
*This author discusses our need to feel safe and secure.

I invite you to share your resources, experiences, and strategies here at World of Writer Mom.

Copyright 2018 World of Writer Mom

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend filled 
with challenges, adventures, &
plenty of resources to tackle your goals!

Kindest Regards,
~ Mary