She’s way more relaxed now

I’m Yves and I help people resolve their conflicts, without needing the other person.

As you might know, our eyes are facing outwards…and I believe that’s an issue.

Let me explain what I mean.

I want to take you through a typical situation that I’ve compiled from multiple conversations with friends and students.

Paul is a 32-year-old web designer. In his team he has great vibes with everyone. Except this one woman. Paul comes in for his first of three conversations with me to solve the conflict he has with her. He starts off with his eyes focused on the other person:

“She doesn’t listen and just doesn’t take me seriously. She thinks she knows it all and I know nothing. I’ve been here way longer than she has, she should be a lot more humble.”

Usually when people that I know get to a situation like this, they first try to be nice, in an attempt to change the dynamic.

I thought to myself, you know, I’m not letting her get the best of me, I’m above this. So I started being really nice to her. Giving compliments and being cheerful.”

This “being nice” is an attempt to try to change the other person’s behavior. The gaze is still facing the other person and this seems to be the reason it doesn’t resolve the conflict:

But I grew so tired of it, it was wearing me down and she still didn’t take me seriously. So now I don’t know what to do. I want to keep my job and my manager is even saying that I have to do something, you know, make it work somehow.”

After listening attentively to Paul for a while, I slowly help him turn his eyes inward, focusing on what he needs.

So you really want to have a fun connection with the people you work with?”

Yeah!” Paul replies.

I continue, “and you want to be authentic at the same time?”

Yeah,” Paul replies in a softer voice.

I empathize by saying: “…and with this person you change yourself to try to get that connection?

As his eyes are turning more and more inwards, I try to understand him:

And maybe this makes you feel so tensed around her, that you’re kind of losing the connection to yourself?

“…” Paul sighs.

He shares that he doesn’t even like himself when he’s doing this.

We continue the conversation and practice some things to say.

Then after an hour or so, focussing more on his own experience and needs, he walks away feeling relieved and relaxed.

The next week, Paul comes back to me for our second conversation.

He starts off by saying:

I can’t believe what changed in my colleague! All of a sudden she is way more relaxed now and she actually showed some real interest in me.

And with a smile on my face, we start again.

Disclaimer: the people who teach it, usually need it the most.