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When Winning is Not the Goal

By HERWriter
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Charles Elliott would like you to consider that there is more than one way to handle conflict. Defensiveness and a need to win, will very possibly take you further into conflict.

Elliott suggests techniques which he calls "defusing" and "buffering" to avoid the friction, and bring more serenity to all your interactions. The other alternative is to become firmly entrenched in a stance that brooks no negotiation or reconsideration.

"Unfortunately, such thinking makes you seem defensive in response to criticism and overly aggressive when you need to be critical of someone else. Both responses are based on an unwarranted assumption that people can actually know or 'own' truth. But the complexities of human interactions are such that absolute truth is rarely within anyone’s firm grasp."

Charles Elliott, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and a Founding Fellow in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. He specializes in treating anxiety, anger, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and personality disorders. He is also the coauthor of many books.


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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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