Time is money. So when redditor HENNYDEFN was asked by her cousin to babysit their 3 kids, the 24-year-old immediately thought of the freelance work she would have to sacrifice for it. Because of that, she wanted to get paid. $35 an hour. But it made her cousin “go crazy.” The feud left HENNYDEFN confused — was she supposed to ask for less money? Or maybe she should’ve done it for free? Or perhaps the cousin is the one who’s being unreasonable because she only thought of herself? Looking for answers, HENNYDEFN told the entire story on reddit, asking whether or not she was the asshole. Continue scrolling to learn about the whole situation and let us know your verdict in the comments.
If you end up in a similar situation, you don’t need to go to Dr. Phil to settle it. Aldo Civico, a Ph.D. with over 25 years of experience in leadership development and conflict management, says you can do it yourself in just three steps.
Firstly, consider your own perspective. “This … requires you to achieve a higher degree of self-awareness. You do so by asking yourself what’s really bothering you,” Civico wrote on Psychology Today. “What pain are you trying to avoid? What are you protecting yourself from? Through the emotions and the behavior you are displaying, what needs are you trying to satisfy? Are you looking to be significant to the other? Or to feel secure? Are you trying to connect with the other, or to feel connected with yourself (especially if you feel down, sad, or depressed)?”
Go deep and clarify to yourself what the conflict is really about. “In fact, chances are that while the fight is about a specific issue, in reality, you are after something that lies at a deeper level. What is it? Get clarity, and you will be able to come up with different options on how you can get what you really want.”
When you get this done, think about the other’s perspective. It’s just as important as your own. “It requires you to have empathy and through empathy to widen your understanding of what’s really going on. Put yourself in the shoes of the other. For a moment, suspend your own judgment and do your best to see the situation you’re confronting from the perspective of the other.”
Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself to find the answers you are looking for: what might influence the position taken by the other? What experiences shape his or her understanding? What’s going on in the life of the other? What needs is she or he satisfying with a particular behavior? Is the other looking for significance? Or rather for love and connection? Is it a way to feel secure? What’s the real intention of the other party?
Finally, get the third party’s perspective. “Often, someone from the outside can give us a fresh perspective about a problem you are trying to resolve,” Civico explained. “In this step, you put yourself in the position of a third party observing the situation you are involved in. Imagine you’re sitting in a movie theatre, watching your conflict projected on a screen as if it were a movie. What is it all about?”
Seeing the situation through three different lenses should allow you to get necessary emotional detachment, gain valuable insight, and to have a broader and deeper understanding of the conflict, necessary for resolving it.