Driving on ice and emotionally charged conversations have more in common than you might first think. However, it's probably best to start with an example of the lion and the gazelle.
You've probably seen a nature show in which a swift and fierce predator like a lion runs after and pounces on a relatively defenseless gazelle. Although it may run away at first, the most effective thing the gazelle can do is to become very still and quiet. Oftentimes, this will convince the lion it is dead and therefore it is not a good idea to eat it. After waiting to be sure that the lion is really gone, the gazelle will get up, do an elaborate shaking routine, and then go about eating grass again just like nothing ever happened.
In dealing with threat or conflict, the gazelle is a great example of the Freeze Personality Type. If the gazelle had a decent set of claws or teeth, it might be more suited to the Fight Personality Type, pitting its sharps against the lion's. Or, if the gazelle could outrun the lion (and many try), that would be the Flight Personality Type in action. 6 Red Flag Phrases That Should Send You Running
In reaction to peril, most animals have one of these responses: freeze, fight or flight. And we humans are no exception, having similar responses during in our disagreements and clashes. Are you wondering which Conflict Personality Type you are?
If you are the Freeze Type, when you encounter conflict, you're most likely to desperately try to make nice in order to restore harmony—even pretend there is harmony—at any cost. You smile and attempt to smooth over the squabble. Your system thinks the best way to deal with hazard is to hide it, fix it or fade it.
Or maybe you are the Fight Type. You get defensive when any dispute comes at you. You might get mean, start pointing fingers, blaming and lashing out. How To Beat Anger And Make Relationship Conflict Work For You
For the Flight Type, you run away or wish you could. You often retreat by becoming silent—as in giving the silent treatment—putting emotional or physical distance between you and the threat. Flee-ers give great cold shoulder. Or you may get tongue-tied or flustered not knowing how to handle yourself or the other person. You're a Flight type when you're intentionally icy...even if it's under the guise of "taking space." A Secret For Staying Open Instead Of Shutting Down
The gazelle would lose with Fight, so it might start with Flight, yet often wins with Freezing. None of the three Conflict Personality Types are bad or wrong. However, they all presuppose that conflict warrants a red-alert warning to the system, as would be the case if a tiger with yard-long claws was running you down. Often, conflict, although admittedly uncomfortable, is a huge opportunity for some part of the relationship dynamic to be shaken loose and upgraded. We often miss or overlook the opportunity entirely, so busy are we trying to maintain our safety from the perceived threat by Freezing, Fighting or Fleeing.
If you have ever found yourself driving on ice and starting to skid, you know in your bones what I'm going to say next. There are 2 vital things you must know:
1. Don't put on the breaks, and