Never Push A Person To The Point Where They Have Nothing To Lose…

Conflict Resolution Tip #5 – There are times when conflict seems to escalate uncontrollably – creating stress, hurt and even in cases of some conflicts – danger for those involved. And the more things escalate the more those involved can feel justified by the choices they make and the actions they take.

However, the worst possible strategy for the more powerful party in any conflict is to push the ‘other’ to the point where they feel they have no control over the situation because at that point they have nothing left to lose… it seems there is no way out except to fight back (and they will)… At that point those in power have created a situation where they have chosen to put themselves in jeopardy and escalated the situation unnecessarily. And if we fail to recognize our role in the situation we are deluding ourselves… and that willful blindness is an unconscionable sin against everyone involved and affected…

It’s not easy – but it is critical that in this type of situation people in positions of power realize that the ‘other’ party may not be able to react according to what is considered normal or reasonable. That sense of being trapped and subjected to situations where the consequences are out of proportion to the infraction risks turning any human being into a reactionary who will fight for their survival.

Look at the resistance movement in WW2 and the level of commitment to ‘fighting back’ demonstrated by those who used any means possible to derail the German war machine. We are seeing similar resistance in many of our global conflicts these days – and we are seeing governments implementing strategies that are marketed as being necessary and justified but seem doomed to create more problems than they will solve. Part of this is that in many cases the powerful group(s) justify their attacks on the other through a victim mindset that looks only at the resistance without looking at the provocation for the resistance – and that ignores the power balance in the situation and denies the reality that the ‘other’ is facing – and that deflection and denial of the bigger picture is a recipe for disaster…

In a school yard if a larger, stronger individual attacks someone who is smaller / less able to fight back we call it bullying and condemn it as unreasonable, unjustified and just wrong. On a larger global scale when governments choose strategies that attack others when it is not a level playing field feels to me like bullying on a much larger scale… and I have the sense that it feeds that sense desperation that breeds more people who are willing to resist – through whatever means they have at hand. On a global level we need to hold those countries (including our own) to account when their choices and actions create more problems than they solve.

Albert Einstein once said “Never push a loyal person until they no longer care…” I would say, never push anyone (loyal or otherwise) to the point where they have nothing to lose. It is easy to reach a tipping point where further pressure on them will escalate their response to desperation levels. And desperate people have very little to lose and a lot to gain by continuing the resistance… and even escalating it.

Ensure that everyone sees that they have some control, dignity, input and hope… and the chances for a non-violent solution increase dramatically!!! Maybe it’s time to try a different strategy… Just sayin…

The Conflict Resolution Workout…

Think of some of the global situations that involve serious deep rooted conflicts…
What self-justifications do the group(s) in power use to justify their actions and choices?
How does that self-justification impede their ability to see how their actions and choices are actually escalating the conflict they say they want to resolve?
What will it take for both sides to step back from the stance they have taken?
What can you do to help?

Please like & share:

Posted in Uncategorised