Consensus and conflict
From: Melanie G (
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 2021 18:07:41 -0800 (PST)
"I actually miss the heat in our early membership meetings with people
yelling, pounding on tables, walking out. Once we were confronted with
Person A protesting that Person B had thrown a chair at her. Person B
admitted to throwing a chair but he said he didn?t throw it at her. He just
threw it across the room.

Sometimes I wish that there were exercises that desensitized people to
yelling and arguing and having to stand up for themselves when they thought
they were being criticized. They seem to be directed to keeping everyone
"nice.? it?s all well and good to feel compassionate when compassion is
helpful. But it doesn?t usually mean much when people are arguing points of

YES Sharon!  I was reading Scott's comments about NVC, and was not sure how
to say that people have nervous systems, and one form of nervous system
response (please and appease, or NVC, or some such) is not necessarily any
better or worse than another nervous system response (yelling and throwing

These are strategies that we learned as our nervous systems were forming.
They are only under our control in situations where we are still capable of
responding.  Most often, when something is really triggering us, we resort
to those strategies.  They are not premeditated.  No one walks into a room
thinking, "I will throw a chair if this person does...."

Also, NVC definitely has a shadow side.  And it can definitely be received
as emotional abuse.  It's a tool, and doesn't necessarily work the same way
for everyone who uses it.  Don't get me wrong, I do think there are
principles of NVC that are key for more effective human interaction.  But
it's not the solution in many cases.  I have been in NVC circles for nearly
10 years now.  So I speak from experience.

As I understand it, this idea that calm, cool and collected is the only
acceptable way to deal with tension is part of a cultural ideal and we
often end up comparing everything to a certain set of cultural norms...

melanie, seeker

*If a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left
standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a
revolution destroys a government, but the systematic patterns of thought
that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will
repeat themselves.* Robert Pirsig.

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