or "Why I do not have to reconcile"
Disclaimer: There are interpersonal conflicts that are sometimes intractable based on criminal felony offenses, years of abuse, deep emotional wounds, and the like. I am not writing about those types of complicated conflicts. I am writing about the normal routine conflicts that people bring into New Path Center every week.
As a result of serving as a mediator over the last 20 years, I've noticed a pattern. Sometimes, when I invite conflicted clients to enter a reconciliation process, the clients, along with several other clients, give amazingly similar irrational responses. I hear the following responses over and over again. Hence, I have learned to recognize these repeating phrases as "guardian-lies."
A guardian-lie is any belief that hinders a person from moving forward. People are stuck NOT because of any outside force beyond his or her control. People are stuck due to their own belief and choice.
Here are some of the most common guardian-lies that I hear. These lies keep people from moving forward to reconciliation.
I choose to remain stuck in conflict because:
- I know the other party will not want to reconcile.
- Even if the other party says they want to reconcile, they are not showing enough sincerity, remorse, humility, forgiveness, (and so on).
- Reconciling will only be a waste of time.
- We have tried to reconcile in the past but it has never worked, and it won't work this time.
- Any more contact with the other party will only make it worse.
- There is nothing we could possibly do to make it better
- The other party knows what they did wrong, they need to come to me.
- If I have wronged someone, they have the responsibility to come to me.
- I'm just going to avoid being around the other person.
- The other party is "crazy!"
1. Dr. Ed Smith, Theophostice Prayer Ministry, adapted by Tony Redfern