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At the End of Our Rope

Conflict
Management Blog
by Cinnie Noble

There are times we become so frustrated with a conflict that we feel spent – that the dynamic and its resolution are insurmountable. We are usually full of despair and anger at these times. This may be when we use an expression like “I’m at the end of my rope!”

This phrase has an interesting derivation, having originated from the tethering of horses to eat (but not allowing them to run free). So, horses would only eat in the area that their rope allowed. When they ate all the grass that was easy, they then stretched and ate in the area that was “at the end of their rope”.

This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog suggests you consider a conflict in which you are at the end of your rope when responding to these questions:

  • What is the conflict about?
  • What specifically upset you to the point that your frustration grew?
  • When you reached “the end of your rope”, what happened?
  • What other words describe that experience?
  • What survivor instinct (like the horses demonstrated) do you have – to overcome the problem and solve it?
  • If the issues were solved, what would an acceptable resolution be for you?
  • What do you think would be an acceptable resolution for the other person?
  • If you both used your survival skills to make things work, what might be mutually acceptable?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?
                        author

Cinnie Noble

Cinnie Noble is a certified coach (PCC) and mediator and a former lawyer specializing in conflict management coaching. She is the author of two coaching books: Conflict Management Coaching: The CINERGY™ Model and Conflict Mastery: Questions to Guide You. MORE >

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