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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

The Mismatch of Conflict Styles: How to Handle It

posted by Linda Mintle

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If you’ve taken the FREE quiz on my website, drlindahelps.com, you know your conflict style–avoider, reactor or negotiator. Now the issue is, does your style match with those with whom you are intimate? What happens when there is a mismatch of styles, e.g., you avoid and the other person reacts?

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Conflict can get stuck! The problem hits a stalemate or it doesn’t get resolved.

In order to work with different styles of conflict, we need to learn to accommodate and make a few modifications in our own styles. Remember, styles are typically learned in your original families. That means, they can be unlearned or modified.

If you avoid and you are with a reactor, you develop the classic pursue-distance pattern in a relationship. Avoiders need to understand what the reactor is feeling and give space for the person to express those feelings. This means avoiders have to become more comfortable with emotional expression, especially negative emotions. The best way to do this is to tolerate your anxiety around hearing about the issue. Don’t distance, stay in the dialogue.

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The reactor needs to be aware of how uncomfortable this if for the avoider and make efforts to calmly present their emotions and not overwhelm the avoider. This means taking the intensity down a notch. Pray, do some deep-breathing, take a time out and collect yourself. This helps the avoider stay in the conflict and push to bring up issues.

If you are a reactor with a negotiator, agree that emotion is important, but needs to be controlled. Negotiators must pay attention to the emotions of others. Conflict is not just a head thing, but a heart issue for many of us.

For mismatches, think about your style and how you can accommodate the other with a few modifications like pushing yourself to address problems or staying calm during a conflict. These modifications will make conflict a much easy process to resolve.

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8 Questions: Are You A Hard Worker or Workalholic?

posted by Linda Mintle

black man workingIn the same way a drug addict uses cocaine or an alcoholic downs booze, work can have an anesthetizing effect on negative emotions. People use work to escape and avoid unpleasant emotional states. But because hard work is so sanctioned in our society, it is an addiction often minimized.

Our once sacred days of rest have vanished as malls and superstores stay open during Shabbot and Sundays. Technology invades our home life. Solicitors assault us during the dinner hour. And the boundary between work and home is blurred by balckberries, faxes, cell phones and computers. This instant communiqué turns our play to work and our home fronts to alternate work sites.

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How do you know if you are simply a hard worker or a workaholic? Ask yourself these questions:

1) Do you view work as a haven rather than a necessity or obligation?

2) Does work obliterate all other areas of your life?

3) Can you make the transition from the office to the Little League game without guilt and constant thinking of what you need to do?

4) Do you have work scattered all over your home?

5) Do you regularly break commitments to family and friends because of deadlines and work commitments?

6) Do you get an adrenaline rush from meeting impossible deadlines?

7) Are you preoccupied with work no matter what you do?

8) Do you work long after your co-workers are finished?

If your answers are “Yes” to most of these questions, it’s time to reevaluate your love for work and cut back. Workaholism can bring emotional estrangement and withdrawal in your relationships. In the worse case, it can even lead to separation and divorce.

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If you think you may be a workaholic, acknowledge the problem. Then, begin making small changes that limit work hours. Get active with your family. Turn off electronics and be unavailable for work during certain hours of the day. Leave the office at a reasonable time even if your work isn’t perfect or completely finished.

Even though you may be rewarded at the work place for your obsessive efforts, your family needs you, not more work. And as the well-known saying goes, “I’ve never met a dying person who regretted not spending more time at the office!”

 

 

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Breaking the Mental Habit of Worry

posted by Linda Mintle

Letting Go of WorryBecause worry is in the mind, it is a mental habit that must be broken. Here are a few practical tips to help break the worry habit:

  • Identify the thought behind the worried or anxious feeling.
  • Let it come and don’t try to suppress it with thoughts like, “Stop worrying” “Don’t do this,” etc. The more you try not to worry, the more you will worry. It’s like dieting. The more you try not to think about food, the more you do think about food.
  • Look at the thought and decide if it is true. Do this by judging it against the Word of God. For example, “I will never get a job in this economy.” Think, Is God on my side? Is He for me? Will he help me when I do all I can and there is nothing more to do? Does He promise to provide for my needs?
  • Replace the thought with the truth of God’s Word.
  • Trust God to be who He says He is and do what He says He will do.

Jesus would not command us to give up worry if it wasn’t possible. His prescription is to take those worried thoughts captive and replace them with the truth about His character and love for us. Basically, we need to confine those worried thoughts and not allow them to wander in to the waters of anxiety. Once confined, we think on good things.

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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace(will be with you.what God says. Read His word. Philippians 4:8-9

 

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Hurt By a Conflict? How Do You ReBuild Trust?

posted by Linda Mintle

unhappy coupleYou’ve heard the saying, trust is easy to break, hard to repair.

How do you go about building trust with someone you’ve hurt! The key is to know the other person’s world and reliably respond to it. Do what you say. Keep your promises. Empathize with the other person’s issue and try to see the problem from both sides.

When differences emerge and pain is associated with those differences, don’t dismiss the pain. Acknowledge it, empathize, and be there for that person. This is how you create a safe haven to work through differences.

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When differences are expressed and that expression is negative, stay calm and listen to those feelings. Do not get defensive, turn away, or decide to avoid or make excuses. Stay in it. The person who has the conflict is trying to connect with you. When you stay in the conflict, trust builds. The person learns that they can have issues and that you will stay in the relationship and work through those issues with them. This is what creates safety and a secure attachment.

An important part in building trust is not turning conflict into a win-lose argument or debate. American Idol’s Randy Jackson’s sentiment “He’s in it to win it” doesn’t fly with conflict. Disagreements aren’t about winning; they are about understanding. We aren’t in conflict to win it. Our aim is to understand the other, consider our part, and take responsibility where necessary. This is what creates a win-win outcome.

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Finally, when trust is broken, repair is needed. Repair begins with forgiveness. Forgiveness is so important and necessary to move forward. In my opinion, people deserve a second chance and a right to win back trust. We all make mistakes and need a little grace in our lives.

 

Adapted from We Need To Talk by Linda Mintle, (Baker, 2015)

Previous Posts

The Mismatch of Conflict Styles: How to Handle It
                If you've taken the FREE quiz on my website, drlindahelps.com, you know your conflict style--avoider, reactor or negotiator. Now the issue is, does your style match with those with whom you are intimate? What happens whe

posted 6:00:28am Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

8 Questions: Are You A Hard Worker or Workalholic?
In the same way a drug addict uses cocaine or an alcoholic downs booze, work can have an anesthetizing effect on negative emotions. People use work to escape and avoid unpleasant emotional states. But because hard work is so sanctioned in our society, it is an addiction often minimized. Our once

posted 6:00:40am Mar. 27, 2015 | read full post »

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posted 6:00:40am Mar. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Hurt By a Conflict? How Do You ReBuild Trust?
You've heard the saying, trust is easy to break, hard to repair. How do you go about building trust with someone you’ve hurt! The key is to know the other person’s world and reliably respond to it. Do what you say. Keep your promises. Empathize with the other person’s issue and try to see t

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