I have realised there are some people in my life who are bad role models for conflict resolution. Our behaviour is, at least to some extent, influenced by the behaviour of those around us. I am now seeing where I picked up the habit of expecting others to convert to my views without me considering their views.

You see, I realised the pattern when someone (who shall remain nameless) recently deflected attention away from themself and onto me. I recently asked this person to do something really practical that I was already doing. It was a matter of everyone contributing equally and taking responsibility for themselves. My hope was for some sort of practical plan where that person would gaurantee to contribute to a work load in the same way that I was. What I got was a deflection of, "But you do this...." It became about me instead of that person. I am happy to take responsibility for myself, but not for others.

The context of this conversation is really not important. Anonymity is important. I am telling you this story because a lot of people could learn from it. People either don't want to appear weak by taking the blame for something, or they fall into the opposite extreme where they never see what they do right. This problem could happen anywhere- work, uni, family, the list goes on. I'm not saying I had experiences of it in all of those places. I'm just broadening the horizons so you really don't know where I'm getting the story from.

People need to find new ways to protect their egos. Nobody ever looked better by 'always being right.' Why? Because it's easy to pretend we're right when we're not. Even Sheldon Cooper once got a math problem wrong - so no matter how 'great' we are at something, we are still flawed human beings.

I feel a great need to always ask people, 'How can I help?' Or 'What could we do differently? Or 'How does everyone else want things done?' I try to help others however possible.

Of course I usually feel correct about things because I only say something if I feel certain about it. The most difficult thing I find in people is that they don't realise I'm right. That's when I forget they are thinking the same thing.

I have became the deflecting type. I would rather prove someone else wrong than have the same done to me. Why do I act this way? It's because I have been wrongly influenced by people who do not want to contribute to a work load or see my perspective. They protect their egos by pretending they are perfect. It's the people who deflect and blame me for their actions, they are the people who influenced me the most. There is room for change.

The first step is admitting I have a problem. My deflecting is a an immitation of the deflecting types around me. The thought of bruising my precious ego is just too much to bear. Because too often my ego has been the target of deflectors who would rather see flaws in me than in themselves. But it takes one person to break the cycle.

Mistakes are not a sign of weakness. It takes strength and honesty to own up to them. And the more I make my own contributions to work loads, hopefully others will do the same thing.


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