Bittersweet Chalkolate

Blog about cooking, teaching, and everything else that is my life.

January. Conflict resolution seminar. Day 22.

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A lot of people have a really hard time acknowledging their own success or talents. A lot of people have a very hard time seeing good things in others. Very often these are the two sides of the same coin.

I quite often used this ice-breaker to meet my new students. I would ask them to share their stories of success in a small group and then choose the story that all of them thought to be the best one. I remember seeing their troubled faces as they were sitting there desperately trying to think of such a story. Often they would say, “But I am not really good at anything. I have nothing to share.”

During another class, when everybody would be doing presentations, same people would start criticizing other people’s work right away even though I would insist on enlisting three positive things first. It is so much easier to focus on drawbacks, on negative things than find something good within yourself and people around you.

We jump at conclusions. We do not realize that success or talent do not have to be measured in money or medals or prizes. We see negative first and only after certain effort we notice good. We make wrong assumptions about ourselves and others. We create the inner conflict that often leads to an interpersonal one.

Conflict resolution is not only about patterns and statements and strategies. It is about the desire to understand the other person, see worth in them, and because of that try and reach the solution that would satisfy both.

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.


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