While at the gym this morning I caught two news stories that made me think about this whole conflict theme.
The first included an interview with a California Congressmen who went on a hunger strike in order to shame his opponent into engaging with him in a pre-election debate. His fast started August 12th and so far he’s lost 14 lbs and has endured all sorts of medical consequences. The second news story showed footage of an irritated bull jumping into the stands at a Spanish ring. Forty people were injured, including one 10-year-old boy, before the bull was contained.
Maybe it’s a stretch, but I couldn’t help but think how interesting these two stories were with regards to my current study on conflict in relationships. The politician is in obvious “conflict” with the person he’s trying to beat in the election. He’s dealing with that conflict by engaging in manipulation, much like a toddler holds her breath until she passes out in order to avoid taking her medicine. The only difference is that Congressman Lutz is definitely not a toddler anymore (physically speaking) and definitely should be above using shameful manipulation to get what he wants.
As for the bull, I understand the whole bull thing is entertainment in Spain. I don’t get it, just as I don’t get why my guys like to shoot spuds in a launcher. But whatever. What’s interesting to me about this story is (1) amateur footage caught the crowd taunting the bull for several minutes before the “bull hit the fan,” and (2), there’s professional footage of the bull actually losing it and taking his flying leap. While the bull is responsible for the attack (and has since been put down), the crowd didn’t help by pushing his buttons, even if it is entertaining.
What does all this have to do with conflict? If you resort to childish stunts in order to get your way in a conflict, you’re acting like a toddler and the only person who ends up looking stupid is you (even if your initial position was valid). Second, if you know you’re dealing with a “bull,” avoid taunting and criticizing. It’s just not smart, and chances are someone’s going to get hurt (usually an innocent). And third, if you’re the raging bull in conflict, keep your head and avoid being pulled into the ring. No matter how much you were provoked, if you lose it you’re going down.
One more thing: It seems to me that if the bull would’ve been more of a politician and if the politician had quit his ridiculous bull, no one would be needing medical attention right now.
Just a thought.
Have a great weekend. 🙂
(pic courtesy of saraconner, stock.xchng)