Are You Resisting Their Resistance?

Two women looking at computer

It’s very difficult to “hang with” a conversation when it gets difficult. Just look on social media and you see name-calling, unfriending and all sorts of defense mechanisms when people feel trapped or threatened.

The key to staying with difficult conversations is to learn how to self-regulate and how to release resistance. This week I’m focusing on the third level of resistance. To see the entire article (originally published on SmartBrief), go to SmartBrief. 

Level 3: Resisting their Resistance

Resisting their resistance is when your reactions are based on changing them or based on avoiding discomfort they represent. When you avoid a conversation because you “already know what they are going to say,” that’s resisting their resistance. The real resistance is about “hanging with” a conversation when it gets difficult.

When you appease someone even when you disagree because you don’t want them to “blow up,” you’re resisting their resistance. Maybe you’re afraid you will also blow up. When you avoid a difficult conversation with a poor performer who might cry, you’re resisting their resistance. Empathy is essential, but when you take on other people’s emotional issues, you’re resisting their resistance.

What to do: Let them say what you already know they’re going to say. Let them do what they will. It’s OK to let them cry. Let them be exactly who they are without desiring to change them.

Remember this: People do what they do because it works for them on some level. When you stop overcompensating, you change the game. When you stop caring more than they do, you challenge them to step up. When you accept them and stop judging them, they open up.

Releasing resistance is a skill that can be taught! The good news I’ll be sharing some of my methods in my upcoming book, From Conflict to Courage, to be out in 2022!

Stay tuned,

Marlene Chism