Posts Tagged ‘conflict’

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Behaving Out of Character and Self Care

June 4, 2008

I did something totally out of character for me the other day. Well, actually, I did more than one out of character thing in the span of a few days.

Unread spam I can ditch with no problem. Personal emails are a different story. Even if they are from someone I am in a conflict with, this persistent optimist always hopes there’s a way we can work things out.

All personal emails I read…eventually. Until the other day. That is when I realized I needed to do something different.

I thought a conflict situation was over…not healed…just over. Then I received an email from someone letting me know that she had been told something negative about me relating to the conflict situation. What she was told was true. I had blown it. So I emailed her back, apologizing and asking for forgiveness. I had also been accused of trying to do certain things that I had not tried to do, so I also tried…again…to explain what my true motivations were.

She had heard more facts about the situation, so I wrote her the rest of the story. I figured…might as well get it all out in the open so it could be finally laid to rest. That is why I cc’d the person she’d cc’d, plus the person who had told her more facts. Might as well finish dealing with it all now…once and for all. I wrote that I hoped it was the last email, but that if she really felt she needed to discuss it further, I would.

My email bounced back with a notice from her ISP saying that she had blocked my address. So, the email that I had hoped would bring final closure…she never got. (I like the fact that her ISP let me know I was blocked, so that I would know why it bounced back.) I was uncertain what to do. I did not want to appear to be hounding her, yet I did believe she should have the rest of the facts.

I finally decided to just let it go. I figured that, if God wanted her to see the email, He could make it happen. Since she had blocked my email before, I figured that was the end of things. Clearly, she did not want to discuss it further and I was OK with that. I really wanted it to be over.

Then I got three more emails from this person. I see no point in reading emails from someone who has blocked my address. Her responses prior felt very negative to me and I also did not want to subject myself to more of the same. Yet…what if she did see my email and had accepted my apology? What if she truly wanted to let it go…or wanted a real dialog? I debated in my mind what to do. In the meantime, there they sat in my inbox…unread. Very out of character for me.

I finally asked my hubby, who knew of the situation in general, to read them for me and tell me what the tone of each was. His take on them was that she was still very upset with me and did not want to dialog. So, I did something very uncharacteristic of me. I did NOT read them. In fact, I even took it a step further and asked him to delete them and then empty my trash folder so that I would not be tempted to read them later.

Then I did something else uncharacteristic for me. Since she had written to me after she blocked my address, and since she was not wanting to dialog, I blocked her address. My ISP won’t send her a bounceback, though.

Anyway…very uncharacteristic behavior on my part…to delete unread personal emails and to block someone’s email addy. I still don’t like having done it; but I guess I just have to accept that, sometimes, I need to expand my definition of self care.

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Brokenness and Conflict

May 12, 2008

We are all broken in some way. Sometimes I am keenly aware of my brokenness and other times I am able to kind of push it away and focus on other things. It is not that I pretend I am not broken…I just don’t dwell on it and beat myself up over it.

Then something happens that slams it in my face again. I get reminded of how broken I really am. And of how easily my brokenness can effect others. I have to be careful not to start beating myself up over it.

Conflict is one of those things. I HATE conflict. I especially hate confrontation. I do everything I can to avoid them until I feel I have no choice. I don’t have a lot of experience with confrontation and conflict resolution, but I have done it. Sometimes it turns out really well, with both sides gaining a greater understanding and appreciation for each other. Sometimes it does not turn out so well.

Besides a lack of experience, it seems as if each time it is different anyway. You have different personalities involved, each with their own histories coming into play. When both sides are coming from a place of deep woundedness on top of the wounding within the current conflict…well, that just makes things all the more difficult. Or, it can anyway. It does not have to. I guess a lot of it depends on how willing…and on how able…all sides are to tough it out and work through things.

Sometimes one, or more (or even both/all), of the persons involved is coming from a place of such deep woundedness that they just cannot handle it. Or they are coming from a place of healing and strength and simply choosing to walk away. They withdraw…for their own sake. Hopefully, at some point, they can reach a point of being able to revisit it. But that may not happen. It may just become one of those never resolved things in life…a loose end.

It think it takes a lot of bravery for a broken person to enter into an arena where conflict might take place. I also think that it is smart for all involved to know when they need to take a break…or even to walk away for good. That is not always easy to determine…or easy to accept.

I find it ironic that I was recently told that two people had blocked my email address because of my refusal to let something drop. The reason I say it is ironic is because I had no idea that the one person had blocked it. Why did I not know? Because I had dropped the conversation and never emailed her again! I got no notice of blocking!

As for the other one…I did know, but it happened after only a few emails. I do recognize that I blew it big time in that conversation. My own humanness and brokenness comes in a lot with that. I really needed to keep two issues separate…and I failed horribly. I got them mixed together. When she started to withdraw, I pushed, which was another big mistake…again…due to the mixing of two issues. And, of course, mixing them also gave the wrong impression as to my motives. *sigh*

Oh, well. One can only do the best they can and then learn from their mistakes. The sad thing is, whenever one closes a door, it makes it kind of difficult to work things out. Well, actually, without communication, it makes it impossible.

Anyway, those are my thoughts at the moment on brokenness and conflict.

I am also working through a situation right now for which I have sought the advice of more than one pastor. What they told me, in unison, has caused me to now ask a lawyer/judge for his thoughts on it. Oy vey! That is one thing about seeking counsel. Sometimes you are told more than you really wanted to know. But once you know…what do you do? You cannot just ignore it…especially if it has legal ramifications on top of the moral ramifications. There is nothing like being between a rock and a hard place!

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