If you know your Core Values, you know that every value has a unique negative side: that unhealthy strategy you slip into when you’re faced with a particularly uncomfortable conflict. Recently, at our Enticing Intimacy workshop, I was reminded how easily and unknowingly that strategy can take over. When we’re feeling defensive and vulnerable, we might not even realize we’re doing it.
I spoke with someone who insisted that because she didn’t mean to manipulate, she shouldn’t be held accountable for her actions. Wow! Can I relate. I’m a merchant, and manipulation is our negative conflict strategy. There are plenty of times when I’m so sure I’m coming from a place of love and doing the best I can, only to find out I’ve hurt someone because I treated them with disrespect, or tried to ‘navigate and negotiate’ a situation. I never intentionally manipulate — I can honestly say that I’ve never done something like that. But I know that often, I’m unaware of how fearful I am — fearful that I will lose love — so fearful, that I accidentally shift into a manipulative mode.
Over time, when someone close holds a mirror up to me, I have learned to see this a little bit sooner, without nearly so much defensiveness. It’s sort of like eating Humble Pie — but the more you’re open to being vulnerable and willing to grow in this area, the more powerful you become in your own life.
My goal is to admit my weakness more readily, and to be thankful for the encouragement.
If you’re not sure what your values are, take the free CVI here.