On the heels of a big revelation about Grace last night, and in thinking about a situation that got way out of control likely due to a phenomenon called “triangulation”, my mind followed to places about where I think I should apply some Grace and where I wish some people in my life might do the same… and how triangulation gets in the way of Grace and resolution of problems that lead to healthier relationships. And then a potential solution dawned on me. I’d reserve this for another night, but seeing the pic below on Facebook tonight appears to be God’s gentle nudge that sometimes thoughts like these can’t wait. So tonight… I’ve Got5onit…
A close friend recommended me a book called “The Dance of Anger” focusing on understanding women’s anger, but was truly applicable to anyone. One thing they talked about was Triangulation… where instead of talking to the person with whom you have a conflict, you talk to another person ABOUT that person and create an ally. This is more than venting, and it’s not direct resolution, and I promise you it lurks in your relationships and in your family, as it does in mine. I decided when I learned about Triangulation I would apply a new mantra when someone tried to pull me in: “How about we talk TO people instead of ABOUT people” and I started holding myself accountable for the same. Vent? sure… but then let’s talk about strategies to resolve so that you/I can go handle that directly.
Enter Brene Brown and Daring Greatly… and I want to live boldly and in full integrity and honesty. It’s a practice I’m committed to… and it helps me battle temptations of triangulation yet forces me to take care of issues directly and vulnerably…
Enter Grace. The best we can do when we are upset with someone sometimes or we think poorly of them, is love them exactly where they are at. So here’s my new strategy… When someone wants to bash another to me, I’ll listen empathetically to their frustration and then I will say… “You know what? We’re really struggling with this rignt now, aren’t we? Let’s give them Grace and love them right now.” I’m sure the first few times they will look at me bewildered as I call up the target on the spot and say something BOLD like “Hey friend! How are you? Listen, So-and-So and I were just talking about you and we wanted to reach out and just say we imagine you’re really going through a tough time right now and that we just love you, head to toe. We love you, we believe in you, and we’re here for you and we just needed you to know that right this very minute.”
*** And TIME***
If you give this a shot, do it with care and caution and compassion. It’s not a punishment for the triangulator… that person needs your love and Grace too (not alienation!)… and really, sometimes we all need a 3rd party sounding board to make sure our valves aren’t sealed too tightly. We just don’t get anywhere when the conversation ends drenched in “ugly.” This idea is meant to be a life raft from the raging sea of ugly, tossed out to rescue the triangulator and the target, and maybe even you (the triangulee???)… because what cuts through “ugly” better than Grace and Love?
I don’t know where it says it, but I know somewhere in the Bible Jesus says “Love one another as I have loved you.” I don’t think you have to love the Bible to see how that can only be good and I promise you it beats the heck out of contributing to shame culture!
Credit where it’s due…
Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner: http://www.harrietlerner.com/pages/dance_of_anger.htm
Source of the pic unknown, but it was posted on Fit Yummy Mummy facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/FitYummyMummy?hc_location=timeline