Have you been wronged? Ask yourself:

in friendship •  2 months ago

Is the person you believe has wronged you reasonably responding to a problem caused by you? For just a few examples:

demanding leadership treatment for follower behavior and qualifications
simple aggression; irritability (alcoholism and substance abuse?)
imbalance between taking/draining and giving/restoring
insults/demeaning actions, spoken or otherwise
arrangements that benefit one at the expense/hardship of another
pleasure from another's displeasure/pain/harm
exclusion from something needed, earned, or deserved
imposition of something harmful
perpetual, habitual helplessness

If you genuinely want to resolve a conflict, you can ask yourself: Are they protecting themselves from you?

People (including me and you) (yes, you) get angry not just when we're actually wronged. We also get angry at reactions when our own affront is what caused the reaction that, reasonable or not, is something we don't want.

Example: a family-member who is capable of helping with housework is infuriated when asked to do a chore, and or when confronted about not doing it. The reasonable effort of family members to have housework shared fairly is perceived as an affront by one family member. They fight because the one who is wronging accuses the one who is wronged of a non-existent wrong.

Example: someone complains to an authority of a business that their own work was improperly credited to someone else, that the wrong person was rewarded, and that the person who deserved the credit and reward was not only not rewarded but also harmed. The one who opposes the problem is punished instead of the one who caused it.

The attempt to protect is attacked as if self-protection were a provocation.

If everyone involved in a fight truly wanted fairness, they could ask themselves the simple questions above. If everyone answered them honestly, the fight might end.

If it doesn't, somebody's probably lying, whether intentionally or not, and whether to themselves or not.

It can take enormous skill to peel back and look objectively at everything that conceals the truth, including many layers of unacknowledged pretense.

It can take enormous courage to take responsibility for your own transgressions.

It can take enormous effort to right your own wrong.

And maybe it's possible to get two or more people to aim for truth and personal responsibility for more than ten minutes.

(By the way, two people might also both perpetually keep score in a very dumb, unacknowledged game. It probably makes one or both of them miserable. But that's a topic for another day.)

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