You might miss the pain because it’s disguised as anger; oh but it’s there, oozing from all the broken places ~ Helena Grey. Hi everyone, yesterday’s post was a tad spicy so let’s balance it out here. Every story has two sides and today I wanted us to talk about the other side, meaning the story of the other party in the blame game. One would be remiss to think that either party is having a good time when in a conflict situation. That is rarely ever the case. Both sides hurt equally I imagine.
First let’s set the scene. In any given conflict, we will have a person on one side that is leaning-in and trying to resolve the conflict, and on the other side we will have other person leaning-out, very angry and resentful; even practically fleeing. Which means they don’t believe the conflict can be resolved or even that it’s worth resolving.
The previous post about playing the blame game reflects more the side of the person leaning-in, trying their hardest to resolve the conflict. But what’s happening on the side of the person leaning-out? It’s easy to cast them as the ‘bad guy’, the person causing trouble. After all, they are the ones disrupting the status quo and rocking the boat!
Yet when you look closer, them leaning-out is not a slapdash move in their part, they really have to be hurting to display anger and employ avoidance. If we focus on their actions, we will miss their message. Their anger belies a hurt so deep they might as well be lying right infront of you bleeding out. There’s overwhelming sadness as well, and shame at having failed at something they believe they’ve given their all to -nobody likes to fail.
The level of resentment from a partner leaning out is immense. It’s covering scars and wounds from eons past. When a partner feels unheard, they feel hurt. That residual hurt festers and turns to anger, which then turns to resentment. As such, resentment is anger that has gone undealt with and allowed to accumulate over time. It really is a silent scream that’s held inside until it boils over into a fracture that results in one person leaning-out away from the other.
There’s desperation when one finds themselves in such a state. Untold sadness. Deep shame. Really, nobody likes failure. You the leaning-in party will hurt from the anger and rejection displayed by the leaning-out party. But be gentle for they are in pain. Look beyond the anger and focus on the hurt, which is the true emotion behind anger directed at you. And it’s probably someone you care about. See their humanity. See their pain. They are thrashing about, bleeding out, silently screaming. Even loudly screaming out at you. Be gentle.
Hold your peace. Help them up. Stem their bleeding. Tell them you hear them. Validate their pain. By all means set personal boundaries for their display of anger, but don’t dismiss them. Lean-in and listen if it’s the last thing you do. You might rescue them, you might not; nothing is guaranteed. But you owe it to them. Grey xoxo