“The cause of my irritation is not in this person but in me.”-Anthony de Mello, Indian Jesuit priest, writer, 1931-87
This quote struck me that I had to reread it. Is it really me?
I came across this quote upon reading the April 2022 Newsletter of TCG (TransCultural Group). Before reading the rest of the newsletter, the passage had me reflecting on the truth. When my opinions and principles clash with someone else’s, I get irritated and frustrated. While I am aware that not everyone shares the same views with me, I still get annoyed. Why can’t some people understand my point?
Nevertheless, it’s true. The cause of my irritation is not because of someone else but me. It’s how I deal with differences in opinions and perceptions. These differences happen everywhere – at home, in the office, and the community. These differences often result in conflict, which could worsen and cause strained or even broken relationships.
So what should we do? How can we deal with disagreements and prevent them from developing into conflicts and destroying relationships?
Further reading TCG’s newsletter, I have come across the process below.
The process involves being rational, detaching ourselves from our emotions and ego, and not making judgments. We also need to be open to other perspectives. Then, it requires us to reflect on the outcome we desire out of the situation and our relationship with the person we disagree with. After the thoughtful process, we can correctly decide what action to take.
While it may sound simple, it takes humility and maturity to follow the process. Like me, for instance. Being a mother, it is a lot easier to just say to my children that I am right and they are wrong when we disagree. However, listening to my children is the best way to understand their point. It also helps build their confidence – something I really value. More than that, letting them know that I am listening and trying to understand their perspective is a great way to improve their social skills. It will instill in them a kinder and more inclusive attitude towards other people.
What do you think about this process in handling disagreements and conflicts?
You may read TCG’s newsletter here: https://transculturalgroup.com/news/newsletter-2022-april/.