When most of us finally get fed up with an active conflict, we go looking for new ways of doing things (because what we’re doing, saying, thinking, avoiding, etc. obviously isn’t working). We get a book. We ask a friend. We hire a pro. Often nothing changes. Why?
The advice we get in these moments is usually sound enough. And, we’re often mature enough to try a few of the new tactics. But, the conflict that is bugging us usually persists because we not really trying to solve the disagreement. We are simply trying to change the other person.
When we step outside the dispute, and begin thinking comprehensively about what has to change, we move closer to resolving our differences. And, almost always, it’s us who has to change.