Book Repory On "Beyond The Blame", By Jeffrey Kottler

2243 words - 9 pages

Beyond Blame.Part I. Jeffrey Kottler's Beyond Blame is subtitled "A New Way of Resolving Conflicts in Relationships", and attempts to present just that, a way of examining one's day to day conflicts with others and to find a means of either resolving or circumventing them. He starts with a discussion of his own personal conflicts of this sort and as a result observes that the thread running through most of them is, first, that they show a "tendency to concentrate on the other person's role in obstructing my goals" and that in addition, "The focus most of my energy is on trying to place blame on other people, on things outside of my control, rather than addressing what I am ... or ...view middle of the document...

They may be transferring resentment to you that originated elsewhere, as when they see you as some sort of authority figure. Other possibilities exist as w3ell, but are not immediately discussed here.The next question is, how you god into that fix, and here Kottler advises the reader to find out the origins of these feelings and conflict triggers in oneself and in others.Some conflict situations bother you more than others, so that, besides finding out the initial triggers for them, one needs to find out what makes some conflicts particularly troublesome on an emotional level. One could be the need for the approval of others and the denial of this need. Fears, such as that implanted by other for not measuring up to their standards, as in the case of a domineering parent, for example, can be transferred to others. Such fears may lead to a pathological need for control of others. At this point one may look to see what one's expectations are so and how to avoid them distracting you from the real issue that arises as the immediate source of particular conflicts. This is taken by Kottler as being involved not just with what people are openly arguing, but in seeing as well what forces are working on them to prevent particular conflicts from being resolved. They may include conflicts over control and authority as well as the need for privacy and intimacy, as well as what Kottler calls "enmeshment" (page 57) or psychological dependence on others.Here Kottler makes the suggestion that one can find a way to reduce personal conflicts by becoming aware of one's real motives and the emotional crises underlying them. This may have a positive effect. In my own case, involvement s with what turned out to be actually unimportant issues, such as who was to go first at a traffic intersection, almost led to conflict until I realized that it was better to let the other fellow go ahead of me, to let him get farther away, rather than get a dented fender or worse simply because my resentment at being cut off in traffic.Part II. Discomfort, Blaming, and Action. Kottler realizes that the process of analyzing one's own emotions and drives that may underlie the conflicts that one has can be at time discomforting. Others may see this as a good reason for avoiding such a self analysis. Kottler, however, thinks differently. Observing that some psychological pain is involved here, Kottler sees this as necessary to the process of self realization, and that its presence can act as an incentive to "change the pattern of your interactions", "think differently about them" or "act differently so you no longer subject yourself to misery." (Page 63).This does not involve dwelling on one's pain to an extreme degree, however, since this would only make matters worse. One person I met had carried this out to such a degree that one could practically say he made a career out of his misery. Appealing to others for self pity was his game, and while it reflected a need on his part to...


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