Troubled by what’s going on in our world? Wondering what you can do in response to all the social and political turmoil?
Safe Conversations skills that have changed your marriage can also change your world.
Even if you feel like there is nothing you can do about where our country is headed, Safe Conversations can greatly impact your world and ultimately impact the world.
How did we get to this place? How is it possible that we find ourselves able to dish out such emotional abuse toward fellow members of the human race?
On the surface it makes no sense. But when we see what’s happening to us unconsciously as a nation, it makes perfect sense.
Our democracy is based on the fact that we all bring different views to the table. That’s a given.
So what happened?
The wonderful process of co-creation and mutual purpose has broken down and has resulted in the polarization that we are experiencing today.
When we can’t resolve normal conflicts, we get stuck in a self-absorbed state so that whenever we encounter someone who holds a different view, we are literally traumatized. That’s when we become reactive and go further into that self-absorbed state.
Soon it no longer feels safe to engage with that person on the other side of the aisle.
What happens if we let this polarization continue?
We lose empathy for each other. We are no longer in touch with what the other person is experiencing or feeling.
Objectification means that the other person has effectively been degraded to the status of a mere object. And here’s the tragedy of that:
When people become objects, we can treat them any way we want.
We can criticize them, we can label them, we can berate them, we can abuse them.
We can do anything to them we feel like, because they are no longer human. They are just things that serve us. And they become objects of our frustration.
Tragically this is what seems to have happened in our nation today. And the whole world is watching us.
So what can we do?
The Safe Conversations Dialogue is a tool that can help you restore empathy and begin to come back together with people who see things differently.
Here’s how the three steps of the Safe Conversations Dialogue can help.
When you MIRROR another person’s thoughts and feelings, you begin to see who that person really is. That person feels honored that you would listen and see them. As a result they will tend to feel more open to you and your perspective.
When you VALIDATE this person’s thoughts and feelings, you begin to see how they make sense from their perspective. Validation is not agreeing with this person, but it’s seeing how their perspective makes sense according to their own inner logic. Validation results in differentiation and neutralizes the trauma so that polarization does not have to occur. Again when you validate someone they will tend to feel more open to you and your perspective.
When you EMPATHIZE with another person’s feelings, healing occurs and safety is restored. You can then see that person as human and not as an object, and connection, and dialogue, and even mutual purpose is possible. We now know it’s impossible to criticize someone you are empathetic with.
Go one way with one person talking and the other person listening. Then reverse roles and do it again….and again…and again!
I know you can’t stop and have a deep dialogue with every person you engage with. But you can apply these principles in every conversation you have. And if you do, I’m convinced that you’ll see dramatic results in terms of safety, connection, creative solutions, and ultimately healing in your relational world.
If you’d like more help click here for more information and to enroll in an upcoming Safe Conversations Workshop.
Let’s be courageous and do our part to bring peace to our troubled and polarized world!