Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Favorites: Flip the Script

This week I listened to a pretty darn interesting podcast from Invisiblia called, "Flip the Script". My apologies that you actually have to scroll down the page once clicking on the link.

Two things really struck me.

First, the story at the beginning of the episode about how the friends changed a dangerous situation to a peaceful one using a technique where you do the opposite of what the other person does, instead of mirroring their behavior. The two narrators challenge the idea that this experience was a miracle, despite the participants' personal feelings. I have no doubt that the woman in the story actually employed this technique, with a great result. However, I disagree that it wasn't a miracle. How did she know how to do that in such a scary situation, when our most primal emotions emerge? I think her action was miraculous--even the more so for manifesting itself in such a scary and potentially violent situation.

Second, the two narrators go to Denmark, to Aarhus, where they meet two police officers who faced the problem of a great number of young Muslim men becoming radicalized and going to Syria to fight with different Islamic factions. Their response to the plight of these young men was unique. They looked for ways to safely brings these young men back into their communities in Denmark. Their actions made a tremendous difference for the young men and for their community.

My temper frequently gets the better of me. I often mirror frustration and anger when dealing with others which inevitably escalates the situation. What if I worked on doing precisely the opposite? This isn't a new idea. The idea of responding in an angry situation with a soft answer can be found in the Bible. Scientific studies are starting to bear out this idea in conflict resolution. I want to put this into practice right now in my life and with my family. I like this idea because it places the person in an active situation and in control, rather than being reactive and out of control.


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