Reena’s Exploration Challenge, Week 8
This week Reena challenges us to look at confrontation
and how we handle it, what we do to resolve it and how it affects us.
On her blog, she has posted an excerpt from a conversation with
psychotherapist Barry Michell about a tool
to use when facing confrontation.
I am not a fan of confrontation and rarely initiate it but I do not run from it either. It helps if there is notice that there will be a difficult conversation so that emotions can be held in check and tempers don’t rule the meeting. Being blindsided by aggression is never easy. It takes patience and restraint under the best of circumstances to take the time to really listen to what is being said so that the problem is understood and can be resolved.
The paragraph below is from the conversation. There are two paragraphs before this one that set up the premise and it would help to read them for understanding. The link is here.
The first step of the tool is to scream silently to yourself, “Bring it on!” and move right into the cloud. Once you’re in it, you scream silently, “I love pain.” In this case “love” simply means I am one with this pain—I’m inside it. To get through something, you have to become one with it; then, and only then, can you let go of it. In the third and final step of the tool, the cloud spits you out; you find yourself soaring into a realm of pure light…and you say to yourself, “Pain sets me free.”
I can’t say I have used this approach. It seems counter-productive to me. I do think it is important to prepare yourself and accept that it may be unpleasant or painful and to acknowledge your feelings but I am not sure “pain sets you free.” I have had my share of painful confrontation and I can’t say I have ever “become one with it” before I let it go.
We all see and work through problems in different ways. That’s what often brings on confrontations. Maybe if we spent less time centered on self and more on others the confrontations would be less confrontational and more conversational, less aggressive with more accomplished.