Good evening! I hope you had a good weekend! : )
Recently, I spotted this week’s rhyming subject line inspiration in passing on social media and dug deeper into its roots. Turns out Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung (1875–1961), first established the concept (and coined the phrase) that what you resist persists. He meant that the more you resist anything in life, the more you bring it to you.
This made me think of some challenging circumstances that I’ve been resisting and, surprise, that have been persisting in my life for years.
So, here are 9 lessons that I’ll try to incorporate when encountering an argument that persists:
1. 📖 - Everyone has a unique story – “We each have a view of the world, and it’s just that — our view. A resolution will be found through dialogue, not arguing about whose story is right, better, or more complete. Both stories are right.”
2. ☯️ - Accept duality – “Understanding the principle of duality allows us to be more open-minded when co-creating solutions to conflicts. We let go of harsh judgments, and we open our hearts and mind to improving the challenging situations we face.”
3. ⚖️ - Check your intent – “No one wants to be steamrolled, beaten up, humiliated, or taken advantage of by someone in an argument. Nor do we want to do that to anyone else. While it may feel good at the moment to prove someone wrong, it doesn’t improve the health of any relationship — business or personal. Life is not about being right. It’s about learning, growing, and making peace with ourselves and others.”
4. 🤔 - If things heat up, get curious – “In an argument where no one is listening, someone has to stop interrupting, tuning out, or discounting others. Let it be you. People think you gain control of a conversation by talking. You don’t. You get it through inquiry, asking genuine questions because you are curious. To resolve a conflict, you need to understand the other person’s story and why they think the way they do.”
5. 😤 - Remember to breathe – “If you can’t listen to the person you’re in conflict with, then the conflict will continue. Take as many deep breaths as you can. Slow the pace of the conversation down. You’ve got to regain balance so that you can think clearly. It isn’t easy to listen when you’re flooded with emotion. Learn to recognize the early warning signs of your emotions taking over.”
6. 🎯 - Speak honestly, respectfully, and accurately – “Don’t exaggerate or use grandiose statements: “You always do that” or “You never do anything I ask.” They are useless and inflammatory. Be specific and factual. Say what is true for you and state it that way. “I don’t agree with that approach because…” Or, “My concern about the project is…” Be accurate in your words.”
7. 🙇 - Be the first to apologize – “If you have screwed up, admit it, and say it with sincerity. There’s nothing worse than a half-hearted, mock attempt at apologizing: “Yeah, sorry about that. I won’t do it again.” If you apologize from your heart, you’re not only honest with yourself, but you are also letting the other person know you recognize your contribution to the situation.”
8. 🔌 - Know when to disengage – “If an argument is getting out of hand and emotions are running high on both sides, you have to make the call: continue or not. The reptilian brain is in charge, and it’s all about survival — defend and attack. All head and no heart. What’s the point? The only thing to do is to reduce the temperature. Someone has to stop pouring fuel on the fire.”
9. ⏳ - Call a time out – “Take a break. Reschedule when everyone is more clearheaded. Find a way to shift the energy; it can help. If you are sitting down, stand up. If you are standing, sit down. Avoid one person sitting and the other standing — be at the same physical level.”
Johnson’s closing words stuck with me too:
“Choose your battles carefully not every hill is worth dying on”
I hope this inspired you as much as it did me!
as always, thank you for reading,
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📷 : Hand-tinted glass slide from the 1920s banner image courtesy of The RSF Archive.