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Breaking The Conflict Pattern

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Breaking The Conflict Pattern
Conflict expert, Greg Giesen, discusses how to get unstuck in repeating old patterns

(A conversation during a coaching session)

Me:       Tom, how are things going with Nancy?

More from YourTango: What to Say and How to Say It: A Conflict Model That Works!

Tom:     Well…not that great actually.

Me:       What do you mean? Last time we talked you were all excited about dating her.

Tom:     I know. But things have changed. She’s blown me off.

Me:       Wait, weren’t you just with her a week ago? What happened?

Tom:    She just stopped communicating. She was supposed to call me on Monday and never called. On Tuesday she was going over to a mutual friend of ours and we were going to get together later that night and she blew me off then as well. No call…no text…no email. Zero! Nada!

Me:       So what did you do?

Tom:    Since we had planned to go out to a fancy restaurant last night, I texted her in the morning and asked if we were still going. And guess what? No response again. So I cancelled the reservations and told her so in a text message.

Me:       So why didn’t you just call her?

Tom:     I did call during the week and even emailed her…and nothing.

Me:       Okay, so then what happened?

Tom:     She didn’t respond to my cancelling dinner text either…that is until today. She said she had an unexpected out-of-town guest show up and hadn’t looked at her cell phone for the past three days. She said she was sorry we missed our dinner.

Me:       How did that make you feel?

Tom:     Like I’m an idiot! Come on Geese, I wasn’t born yesterday. Does she sound like someone who is interested in developing a relationship with me to you? Didn’t check her cell phone for three days! Come on! This is a woman who is attached to her phone. She lives on her Facebook app.

Me:       So is it over?

Tom:     It is for me.

Me:       Are you going to tell her?

Tom:    Why should I? She is the one who stopped communicating with me. I certainly don’t owe her any communication now. What would be the point?

Me:       What do you gain by not communicating?

Tom:    She gets some of her own medicine. Let’s see how she likes it!

Me:       So part of the non-communication for you is to retaliate?

More from YourTango: Set Yourself Up For Success In Conflict

Tom:    You just don’t treat people that way Geese.

Me:       Who are you talking about Tom, you or her?

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