Mar 28, 2011

I'm Just Trying to Make Everyone Happy

Someone once told me I should have chosen mediation as a profession.  I took it as a compliment.  I like it when everyone gets along.  I often find myself in the middle trying to get two opposing sides to reach a solution that is workable for both parties.  This came in handy back when I was settling fights between my children.  These days I use this talent most often at work. Although it can come in handy when trying to get my family to all agree on what restaurant we're going to eat at.

I'm not much for psycho-analyzing everything.  I usually have no interest in trying to figure out why I am the way I am.  But this one I do have figured out.  My Dad had a very short temper, (he's mellower these days).   He wasn't cruel or abusive.  He just went from calm to raging in seconds flat if something set him off.  Sometimes small, insignificant things set him off.  I coped with this in two ways.  I always tried to make everyone laugh because if you're laughing you can't yell and be angry.  Stage two if the humor thing wasn't working and things got tense - calm things down by adding perspective, by reasoning - mediate.

The key to successful mediation is to get people to see someone else's perspective.  This is challenging when ego or selfishness gets in the way.  Stupid people offer their own challenges to the process.  Focus being their biggest hurdle.  It's all worth the challenge though.  There's nothing more satisfying than averting disaster and having everybody walk away feeling as if they got at least part of what they were hoping for.  Not necessarily winners but not losers either.  Workable.  

Being a mediator, a peacemaker, has its down side.  The fact that I desire harmony leads people to believe that I won't take a stand.  They think I'm a pushover or that I'm afraid of confrontation.  It's not true.  I won't be backed into a corner or bullied.   I won't stand by and watch other people be mistreated.  I won't nod and agree that something harmful or stupid or immoral is the right thing to do.  Underestimate me at your own peril.  :-)    That sounds more ominous than I meant it to so I added a smiley face.


  1. What a talent/skill! I have a great capacity for appreciating all sides or, rather, thinking about both sides, but that's something that gets exercised only in a personal situation.

    When OTHERS are disagreeing, I'm all about taking a quick review and doing what it takes to get us all going again.

    That's a LOOOONG way of appreciating what you own. Do you have to tap into patience or do you start with it? Do you have to figure out a mediation strategy or does that middle ground appear to you naturally?

    I'm right back to saying: WHAT a talent/skill. It must drive you crazy, watching political progress grind to a halt for lack of anyone embracing that middle ground. If I ran the government, I'd call you in.

  2. I have a feeling I know what's going on right now that would move you to write this! Tell him to quit his whining!

  3. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."
    I think we should send you to congress. They sure need a good mediator.

  4. I'm very good long as it's not relatives..them ? I just tell to shut the fuck up.

  5. I admire someone for knowing what they are good at... I was recently told my skill was tenacity - a suprise to me as I have always been a bit impatient and I didn't equate one with the other - I don't think mediation is a skill I have and sometimes I wish I did - but haven't done too well with two of my sisters so best left alone for me.

  6. You Worry TOO Much!!!