Wednesday, March 1

I Can't, I Just Can't

That's twice now - where someone has so totally frozen in the blink of an eye.

Both times it arrived bang at decision-making time, and both times it had been a vanilla process before that moment.

Both times were an emotional roller coaster where it seemed easier to hold on to the worst case scenario/WATNA than to even think about attempting something better...
...why, why would you not give yourself a shot at a better than bad outcome, just a shot.

Why would you not even attempt that conversation, what's there to lose?

Well, there's everything to lose.

Some of us, having lived with the injustice of conflict make peace with the very worst it can offer us, the very worst outcome.

And we will not - and cannot, just cannot - risk going back to that vulnerable place of uncertainty where we hope for something better but rely on someone else to collaborate with us to get it.

Because we know, if we don't achieve resolution and it is snatched away, we will never ever make the same peace again and we will start the journey over but this time we know the road.

Better not to even hope, better not to even engage.


Gary said...

The "freeze", don't you just love it. My experiance is it happens when a party is being allowed to avoid a problem or get a benefit which is more important to them than the present conflict. Quick example is a spouse who because of an injury now is getting a lot of attention from thier significant other. They complain the injury is ruining the relationship so they are willing to negotiate to try to end the conflict so they can move ahead and try to get better. They have to be willing to move ahead. Then at the last moment when they sence the settlement is near it dawns on them this means the spouse will expect things to get better, does that mean the attention will disappear, what if they don't get better, will the relationship end. "Freeze". When I see any hint a conflict may be allowing a party to avoid a problem or get a benefit I start thinking about the "freeze". I'll bet mediators could give specfic examples of what situations give rise to a "freeze" and even a profile of people who are prone to the "freeze". Even better maybe someone out there can give a clearer expanation of when to expect the "freeze".

Geoff Sharp said...

Thanks Gary, I wonder if our academic d/r cousins would care to comment as I am sure this is a condition that has attracted attention in that world.

Gary said...

Hey! I found something! The ACResolution Quarterly Magazine Winter 2006 Reducing the Power of Victimhood, Joshua Searle-White. He discusses the fact some people refuse to agree because they have embraced victimhood. "But at a deeper level, victimhood is actually a powerful attempt to control others and get what we want." He then sets out some ways to deal with the issue. My next problem is how to identify these underlying issues early. I find they only show themselves clearly when everyone thinks the matter should settle and suddenly a party will "freeze". Well now that I understand that problem completly I'm ready to take on the world.