We literally trust our lives to strangers every day while commuting to work or picking up some groceries. We, as well as others, need to stay in our lanes. If we venture outside the lane, either accidently or purposefully, we endanger others and ourselves. As a mediator, I constantly deal with the conflict and damage when others drift out of their lanes, either without knowledge or deliberately. Thus, I have one message today . . . stay in your lane! Here are three tips on how to stay in your lane.
- I witnessed an accident the other day because the driver was distracted by his phone. By the time he looked up, he was only feet away from the car in front of him. That distraction caused him thousands of dollars. The increased insurance rate still costs him dollars every day. When we do not focus on ourselves, understand where boundaries exist for others, then violate the boundaries, there will be conflict, and in some cases, even criminal charges. When we focus on ourselves, that means we take care of our own stress and anger. We don’t become the person who begins road rage by driving aggressively. We don’t begin the drama at the office or neighborhood by firing the first verbal shot. We don’t come home grumpy and irritable, a fight just waiting to happen with our significant other. We take care to stay in our lane.
- I have driven in white out conditions when the lane, the entire road, disappeared! My family was with me in the van. My heart was racing. I could not wait to find a place to get off the road and wait out the storm. There are storms in life when the lanes disappear. You are not sure of your lane or the lanes of others. The best thing to do is pull over and take a break. In mediation, this is called a caucus. I help people de-escalate, catch their breath, focus, and find their lane again. When in the midst of conflict and the lanes disappear, take a break, find perspective, often with the help of a good friend or a professional, then get back on the road and stay in your lane.
- The best of drivers still need to correct from time to time to stay in their lane. Whether distraction, fatigue, or a blind spot, we all need to make corrections from time to time to stay in our lanes. Corrections in conflict often look and sound like an apology. In fact, if we have drifted into another lane, or we didn’t see someone because of a blind spot, we need to admit we crossed the line. Confession is the first part of apology. You need to specifically name what you did. Then, you ask forgiveness. I have another blog about the art of apology. Many people suck at it. If you want true resolution to conflict, you and those in conflict with you, need to master apology. Apology becomes the pathway to restore trust. We must stay in our lanes to rebuild trust and relationships. Trust is the bridge in which all relationships traffic. When trust is gone, the relationship is gone. As you rebuild trust, you rebuild relationships.
If you need some help to stay in our lane, or if others are constantly drifting over to your lane causing conflict, give us a call. At Genesis Mediation, we create peace.