Do You REALLY Know What You Are Fighting About?

How Important Is this To You?

When my son was about 6 years old, we were deciding what we wanted to do. We each wanted to do something different and the conversation was quickly deteriorating into a disagreement – “I want to do X”, “no I want to do Y”. I realize he was the kid so I “should” have given in, but for some reason I did not see that at the moment (and not remembering the specifics of what we were disagreeing about, it is hard to remember why I was so stuck in my position, but I’m sure I had a good reason!).

Even though I was somewhat stuck, I did have a moment of clarity and asked the following question: “On a scale of 1 to 10 (here I go again with the scale thing!), how important is it to do what you want?” Now I know my son well enough to know that he was going to ask me the same question after he answered me, so I was digging deep to figure out how much I really cared about what I wanted to do.

His answer surprised me. He said he was at a 5. I was thinking, you’re at a 5, then why don’t you just do what I want?! Then, just as I suspected, he asked me what number I was at. To my surprise, when I really checked in with myself, I realized I was at a 5 too! Begging the obvious question, why didn’t I just do what he wanted?!

Weird, huh? Neither of us felt all that strongly about what we were proposing and yet somehow, we were both digging our heels in. When we realized we were both at a 5, everything shifted. If my memory serves me, we then began disagreeing about doing what the other wanted! So we ended up exploring something else to do that would be more fun for both of us! Why do something that is only a 5 when you can do something that is a 9 or 10?!

Try this next time you are in a disagreement: Ask YOURSELF: On a scale of 1-10 how important is this to you?” (Be HONEST!) After you ask yourself this question, ask the other person the same question.

You may be surprised by the answer and outcome.

In exploration and support ~





Cat J. Zavis is an Attorney, Mediator and Coach for Divorced and Divorcing Parents. She has conducted workshops and trainings in Nonviolent CommunicationSM for hundreds of parents, lawyers, teachers, students, spiritual centers and professionals. In 2009, she was awarded a Peace Builder Award for her business. Her passion is helping parents learn how to communicate and work with their former partner or spouse so they and their children not just survive divorce, but thrive.

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