Interested in trying a social experiment with me in your home?
This might get weird, but work with me here…
A little background first…
Fact: I have spent over 20 years teaching others to overcome the fear of public speaking, using a method that works literally 100% of the time in building confidence for literally anyone who participates. It takes a minimum of 8-12 weeks. It is simply doing the thing that frightens you after being taught how to do it well, with the assistance of a trained coach (me).
Fact: I have spent the last 7+ years helping others overcome the fear of public speaking by helping them tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. In most cases, it took about 2 sessions. I had little to nothing to do with it, other than to help the learner (usually a pastor) put his or her fears into proper perspective.
None of these things are all that special about me, they’re just the things I do. I didn’t create the method. Someone else trained me in how to use it to help others.
Fact: I’ve spent the last 4 years involved as the student for dog training and horse training. Yesterday’s blog is an example of that. What I’ve learned from these experiences, is that the way to truly get the outcome you are hoping for is to LEARN and practice in the middle of the difficult circumstance. This is true with horses, dogs, and people.
I believe this applies to dealing with conflict, also.
What does that mean? With dog training it means, if your dog is taking you for a walk instead of you walking her, you need to learn how to get her to heel, and then practice the thing. If she doesn’t heel anywhere but on the sidewalk in a quiet neighborhood, you better get downtown around gobs of people to work through the many failures so she learns to heel well enough to go on vacation with you and walk calmly around people. She won’t learn to heel in a crowd unless she practices in a crowd.
Or maybe you like fighting with your dog when you walk together.
Frankly, I just don’t.
I like a dog that walks with me, instead of taking me for a drag, trying to dislocate my shoulder when we’re out together.
I like my dog to respect me, and I respect her, as well.
And I’m still working on all these things – but that’s what this life is about, growing interaction by interaction and over time, we are different.
What’s the alternative? Ten years from now, we’ll still be ten years older – let’s be better, too.
This applies to people, too. But we have to respect ourselves, knowing what is true and knowing how to communicate about it, otherwise we create a relationship of resentment with ourselves – and we take it out on others.
With people, it means, if you don’t know what to in the middle of conflict and you have problems in your life you want to work through, the only way to learn to work through them is to learn about conflict, then start trying to work through the real problems. Maybe start with smaller ones, but start working through conflicts.
Yep. I said that.
See where this is going?
Fact: Most people simply don’t know what to do in the middle of a conflict. They also don’t know how to avoid starting one. YOU, however, are NOT most people. You have learned the power that applied RESPECT has in your marriage and your parenting. RESPECT usually avoids starting a conflict - because it helps others hear us and treats people the way they should be treated. BUT … because we don’t know what to do when we disagree or don’t like something, sometimes we lie to ourselves, our husband or our kids over important things. The best family counselors are those that act as trained coaches to help the couple SEE in the middle of those moments what Truth is, for themselves and for each other.
There’s EMPATHY as part of the process – which is at the heart of respect. Call it love if you like, but it makes all the difference in the world.
We typically don’t have coaches for this, however, at our disposal.
But the first time I tried the method I’m about to share with you, I had a different outcome.
That’s the power of the Holy Spirit at work.
And I’m running a little social experiment in my world. Want to join me? That moment from yesterday’s blog? Here’s what I did, and what I’m suggesting you try:
- In the middle of a moment, when things start to go awry (I felt afraid, sad, LOTS of stuff), STOP.
- Ask God, “What’s true?”
- Take a break if you have to, to go listen to Him and learn.
- Get clarification from Him about what’s true for you, for your husband, or for your kid.
- HAVE EMPATHY for yourself and the other person. Extend empathy to yourself first, remembering He died for you and you can’t be perfect. Walk a mile in the other person’s moccasins, to coin a phrase. (this gives you emotional control, which is the only time you should be communicating about problems, when you aren’t going to emotionally vomit all over the other person)
- Communicate using “I” language. “I’m feeling abc…” “I’m concerned about xyz…”
- Extra credit: Be vulnerable about how you really feel: this is known as “confiding” what you understand about yourself and about the other person.
And if you do these things?
It might change your relationship.
Don’t start with the BIG ongoing argument, however. Start small. Get practice in the small things.
Might take a while of little steps, little vulnerable moments of confiding, but you’ll start working through your conflicts differently.
Are you joining us?
I hope you’ll subscribe and stay tuned as I share where this leads me (a journey of respecting my God, self, and others in healthy ways) and I REALLY hope you’ll share your victory stories with me – we’ll put them on the blog so you can teach others through your experiences, too.
And if you are parenting small people, you should totally follow Leah and Debbie if you have tweens, teens, or twenty-somethings. Like us on Facebook so you can know when Daughters of Sarah becomes available in video format this year, or schedule one of our weekend retreats. I’m also active on Twitter as @NinaRoesner. Come join the discussions!
Love to you,