When faced with the challenge of looping someone who is aggressive, domineering, or blaming the other person, it can be very daunting. We particularly don’t want to loop the blame as blame. Our suggestion is that we reframe the blame in a way to hold the speaker accountable for their own experience. For example, “So from your perspective, the impact on you of what the other person did was frustration.” We are trying to refocus them on looking at and expressing their own experience. When looping the person in this way, one approach can be to meet them energetically so that they feel that you have captured the way that they feel, not just with the words you use to loop but also your means of expression. We can reframe their expression as something that may be able to be heard better by the other person while showing the speaker that they can be passionate about something without expressing it aggressively and thus provide a path for expressing their strong feelings. Because people who are aggressive, domineering or blaming may trigger a reaction in us, it is important to be aware of our reaction but not loop while caught in that reaction. If we can be aware of our reaction and maintain our own composure with a full acceptance of the speaker as a person, we can more effectively loop the speaker. Sometimes, a looper who can calmly loop the aggressive speaker while capturing the essence of their communication helps the speaker to regain his or her composure.
- The Depth of Understanding in Conflict Resolution and Mediation
- High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out by Amanda Ripley
- Quelling the conflict within to guide others out: from learning to teaching on the path to understanding
- Navigating Divorce with Grace: The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Eisold Miller
- Barry Berkman reflects on a career spent bringing together parties in conflict and the understanding-based model’s effect on his life