By Ben Stich
So, I am one of those cheesy people that draw meaning from the original classic sci-fi Star Wars trilogy.
I know it is mostly over-simplified messages packaged with light sabers, cool characters, mystical forces, and huge spaceships. But what can I tell you? I love it.
Why am I telling you this? To set the stage for one of my favorite movie lines. A line that I think has profound relevance to marital conflict that I see time and again in mediation.
Star Wars & Conflict Resolution Strategies?
Remember in Return of the Jedi when Luke confronted Obi-Wan for lying to him about his father’s true identity? Luke was furious – even betrayed – by Obi-Wan’s omission.
Obi-Wan did not get defensive. He did not make excuses.
He simply, and wisely, told him, “Luke, you will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”
The truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. Isn’t that so true? Especially when it comes to the difficulties we have resolving conflict with our spouse?
In other words, the storylines we play in our heads shape our interpretation of events and experiences. In a recent post I shared a story of a wife who made false assumptions about her husband due to her point of view. The truth she clung to made resolving conflict with her husband very difficult.
Obi-Wan is implying that if Luke had opened his eyes to view things from alternative perspectives – or perhaps embrace the force more fully – he may have figured out the truth about his father earlier.
Jedi Tricks Are Great Conflict Resolution Strategies
Resolving relationship conflicts are always easier when multiple points of view are taken in to consideration. It can be hard for sure (after all, Luke struggled and he was a Jedi in training!), but some strategies can be helpful:
- Clear your mind and step outside of yourself to reflect on the situation as a spectator
- Keep an open mind to the possibility of different truths
- Avoid jumping to conclusions and instead listen to forces surrounding you
- Remain patient and take time to think things through
- Slow down and breathe…deeply
These strategies are easier said than done.
Padawan train for years to develop the skills needed to earn Jedi Master status. Luke was not able to lift his X-Wing from the swamp when he first tried. Likewise, learning each of these strategies requires practice, patience, and a commitment to improving your approach to conflict.
What other Jedi mind tricks can you suggest to keep an open mind to alternative points of view?
Ben Stich helps families resolve conflict through family mediation and divorce mediation in Massachusetts His services include mediation for parenting disputes, marriage problems, separation and divorce, parents and teenagers and family conflicts. Read more communication and conflict resolution tips on his blog at www.benstich.com Connect with Ben on Google+
The article was published on Good Men Project
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