Choosing Cooperation Over Conflict

Cooperation over conflictThe response within any given situation, affects the direction a situation will take.

Every day we are challenged by the ebb and flow of events on so many levels.  We may or may not be aware of the numerous situations that are occurring within the doors of our existence.

The car in front of you stalls at a traffic light,  a room mate leaves dirty dishes on the table, one friend is grumpy and a bit obnoxious, one neighbor has recently loss a loved one and you don’t know exactly how to support her, one sister is celebrating a birthday and you don’t know what to give her, one co-worker just found out he has cancer, one child is whining over the breakfast that was given them, and this is just the story of people you know.   All of us come to the day with situational stories each and every day.

When you are not aware of the situations that are forming all round you and your friends and family, things can get pretty overwhelming.  The more you focus on the irritating situation, the worse it gets.  Has it ever occurred to you that you participate in the development of situations?  Are you willing to pause and be present to what is happening in the moment before things get too irritating?    There are ways to build better outcomes, more pleasing situations from what is currently happening.

Be present. Avoid conflict. Rethink what you may have heard.

Once you recognize a challenging situation, you can also realize that it has already occurred, a done deal. It may have taken you by surprise and surprise usually comes with a bit of apprehension. But no matter. The event has taken place and now is in the past, so simply reacting to it probably will create a defensive situation.  And, what are you defending?  Something that happened in the past, not now.  You are fighting the past and not present to what is going on now.  That is, if you aren’t giving it continued focus and attention.  You can prolong situations by magnifying its impact — either positively or negatively.

What happens when a child is upset?  You usually experience an irritated feeling rising within you. You may look for support from those around you.  You may feel like shutting out your child, cutting them out of your world.  You may begin to daydream about times when you were free of all these responsibilities.  You may begin down a slippery slope of wishing you could be anyone else but who you are now.  You unknowingly separate yourself from your world, your family,  and your child.  You have unknowingly created a new conflicted situation where you are on different sides.  At this point, you may not even be able to love your child.  You probably cannot come up with any solution for the whining and begin to yell at the child to stop their whining!  And you feel even worse. Situations have a way of spiraling away from a solution and it can become exhausting for you, your family and your child.

The same situations can occur in the workplace.  A co-worker is late for work and creates stress while welcoming customers and answering phones in your little shop.  You unknowingly separate yourself from your co-worker. All sorts of thoughts begin to arise.  You have no idea where they came from.  You place your co-worker outside of your world to protect yourself and unknowingly create a situation of greater unhappiness..   Your situation spirals away from meeting the early morning challenge with humor to a day of bad feelings between you and your co-worker who was fifteen minutes late.  You may consider yourself powerless over the morning situation that was clearly the fault of the co-worker.  You may feel even righteous that you were on time.  But these defensive feelings will never bring about happiness, peace and cooperation.

These negative feelings can only be helpful to you when you are present (conscious of them). They can alert us: we are no longer dealing with the present challenge. They can alert us that we have power to move a situation into a more positive light.

I’m sure you will agree, it is difficult when you are surprised by an unforeseen situation.  We are challenged when asked to accept a situation that we did not choose.  While control makes us feel secure, losing control makes us feel fearful, frustrated, and even angry.  The more these emotions rise, the worse our situations seem to become.

As stated before, a situation will develop in accord with your initial and continual response or reaction to it.

When we cling to unconscious control, we get attached to how things should play out and we get stuck in the problem. When we are present we are able to rethink the situation and move toward a better situation. By supporting our family, friends or co-workers in positive ways, we create future situations of cooperation. We build a better, more satisfying world for ourselves.

Cooperation: working together without conflict.

Published by Manny & Barbara Dean Aliaga

Manny and I spend our days as close to creative projects as possible. We inflate our views with as much positivity as we dare muster. We come up out of the clouds of adulthood and find joy. Manny is a great cook. He shines at being a brilliant listener, and loves to test, encourage and applaud the perceived success of others. Barbara is joyful creativity. She wakes up with hope and sets about showering her world with buds of ideas and ways of thinking.

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