Conflicts of Interest Blog by Vivian Scott
In my line of work we talk about the importance of process. People like to know that we’re following a process; we know that everyone needs time to process, and some say it’s all about the process. Individual journeys are, well, individual and just because you’ve decided you’re ready to apologize or tell someone a thing or two doesn’t mean that they’re at a place in their own journey in which they’re willing to sit on a park bench with you and hear you out.
You’re ready to talk. She’s not. Now what?
First, know that you can’t love, force, or cajole someone into behaving the way you want. Putting pressure on a person who isn’t responding to you only makes you feel better. In fact, that squeeze often makes the other person exponentially more irritated. Yes, you may want to resolve this right now but if you really want things to be better then be willing to wait for a time when things could be better.
Don’t assume you know all the reasons the other person doesn’t want to talk or share his feelings. Of course your assumptions may be right, but you could also be very wrong and if you begin approaching him as if you have all the answers, the clam shell may close even tighter.
Leave the door open for when your journeys might arrive at the same rest stop. If you reach out to someone, be sure to let him know that if he’s not ready to resolve things now, you understand. Ask him to let you know when he is ready and in the meantime be patient.
This article was previously published in "Peripheral Visions," Mediation News, Spring 1998, Vol. 17, No. 2. Copyright © 1998, Academy of Family MediatorsYou can still go to movies for pure...By Robert Benjamin