Two Approaches

Each of us swings back and forth, constantly, between two conflict approaches. The two approaches largely (not entirely) determine how we will experience other people and the world around us.

Before you read even one, it’s essential to remember that we’re all susceptible to the baser emotions of fear, greed, hatred, pessimism, an outlook of lack versus abundance, prejudices and so on.

Each of us resorts to the less desirable of the two approaches, when we’re in an “un-resourceful state”. None of us is above the low road.

Let he who is without personal experience of being a first class asshole, cast the first aspersion.

Work on how to play the game better.

Or, spend our energy insisting that another player is cheating.

Ask ourselves “How can I invest my efforts in my business more wisely?”.

Invest effort in sabotaging the competition.

Many who do this, don’t even have an actual plan for improving anything, only for removing the other players. They don’t know what they would do with the thing they want, if they had it. They just know they don’t want you to have it.

We may ask “How can I be more honest with myself, so I can get better results?”.

Or ask questions, solely with the intention of using that information against others.

Ask “What would I say about someone who is behaving the way that I am behaving? Would I praise this behavior or condemn it?”.

Or do the busybody thing “Did you hear about what Tom and Sarah did?” “What?! No! They didn’t!” “Yes, they did!” “Oh my god!” “I know, right?! Isn’t it awful!”.

Put our noses down and focus on our own behavior.

Or put it up someone else’s butt, in hopes that it will make us important or somehow more successful.

Talk about our plans, what we’re working on, what we’re studying, what we’ve learned.

Others talk about them and what they’re doing wrong.

Some people ask for input and appreciate constructive criticism.

Others become offended and act like you jumped down their throats, when you politely point out that they’re about to step on a rattlesnake. It doesn’t matter that you were polite or that you were truly concerned for their well being, they cannot believe that you dared imply that they were making a mistake.

(Hint: in the future, just let them go ahead step on the snake)

Ask yourself “What did I do that contributed to that problem? How can I avoid doing that again? How did I behave poorly? What can I do to fix this and move forward? Do I owe someone an apology? Is there something that I need to do differently? Is there something I need to stop doing? Was I disrespectful, inattentive, careless or anything else like that?”.

Or jump up and down and scream “Can you believe what THEY did to ME?! How can I DESTROY them?!”.

Some people choose to focus on where they need to improve.

Others refuse to see anything except how everyone else needs to improve.

Some people ask “What can I do for you?”.

Others scowl and say “Look at everything that I’ve done for you!”.

Some people criticize themselves because in a moment of stress, they acted in a way that was shameful, a way that doesn’t live up to their own ideals. It bothers them and so they work really hard to eradicate that behavior.

Others people criticize everyone else, even though they make very little attempt to control their own behavior, even in the smoothest moments of calm. It doesn’t bother them at all but they work quite hard at covering it up and deflecting the attention away from themselves, on to anyone other than them.

Some people try really hard to admit when they’re wrong, even though it’s painful and humbling.

Others try really hard to admit when you’re wrong, especially when it’s painful and humbling.

[read it again, if you missed it]

We might choose to keep even the darkest secrets of our enemies.

Or we readily spill even the most insignificant secrets, of people we look in the eye and call friends.

After a disagreement, we might assume that the other person was just having a bad day.

After a disagreement, we might go way out of our way to make certain that the other person has a bad day.

Ask “What can I learn from this experience?”.

Or angrily ask “How can I teach them a lesson?”.

Some people are your friends.

Other people are not even their own friends, much less yours.

Some people are big and they’re obviously trying to be better.

Others are small and they act like they couldn’t possibly be any better than they already are.

Now, go back and reread the beginning. This pertains to each of us.