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conflict resolution skills

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Our minds and hearts are very rarely on the same timeline, especially when it comes to anything that’s emotionally difficult. Your brain can usually grasp the reality of a situation long before your heart catches up in its reactions. You witness this all of the time after breakups. You make the decision to break up with someone because your mind has determined this person is wrong for you. Your mind sees that the person isn’t honest, isn’t committed, isn’t kind – whatever the issue is. But then why, after making such a clearly good decision, do you feel so bad for weeks or even months after? Because your heart takes a long time to catch up. If your inner workings were an office, let’s just say the brain is very slow on sending memos to the heart. The two must still be operating on a fax or dial-up system.

This same mind-heart delay can occur when somebody wrongs you, but they apologize. You may understand with your brain where the person was coming from. You may be able to even logically see how you might have done the same thing in their shoes. You know, with your mind, that they understand what they did wrong, and that they genuinely hurt at the idea that they hurt you. You get all that. But your heart is still hurt, like the little red-faced, angry emoji. It’s not ready to let the incident go, though you know in your mind that you need to. It can be confusing when you don’t think you should still be mad, but you still feel mad as hell. Here are signs you’re not ready to accept an apology and just want to be mad.

 

You’re picking holes in the apology

When this person approaches you with their apology, you’ve already decided that there is no apology that could possibly be thorough enough. You’re looking at this as if you’re a prosecuting attorney whose entire job it is to pick holes in the defense’s argument. You aren’t even listening to the right and good things this person says. You just have on high-definition glasses that spot the holes in the argument. You are looking for any teeny, tiny thing they may have failed to acknowledge or apologize for. When you find that thing, it is the only thing you’ll be responding to. They don’t get any credit for the good parts of the apology. If their apology was 99 percent there, you’re just mad about the one percent they got wrong.

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