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Since some of the best illustrations are what not to do, I offer a few tips on How to Turn a Disagreement into a Feud:


1. Be sure to develop and maintain a fear of conflict, letting your own feelings build up so you are in an explosive frame of mind.

2. If you must state your concerns, be as vague and general as possible. Then the other person cannot do anything practical to change the situation.

3. Assume you know all the facts and you are totally right. Speak prophetically for truth and justice; do most of the talking.

4. With a touch of defiance, announce your willingness to talk with anyone who wishes to discuss the problem with you. But do not take steps to initiate such conversation.

5. Latch tenaciously onto whatever "evidence" you can find that shows the other person is merely jealous of you.

6. Judge the motivation of the other party on any previous experience that showed failure or unkindness. Keep track of any angry words.

7. If the discussion should, alas, become serious, view the issue as a win/lose struggle. Avoid possible solutions and go for total victory and unconditional surrender. Don't get too many options on the table.

8. Pass the buck! If you are about to get cornered into a solution, indicate you are without power to settle; you need your partner, spouse, bank, whatever.


Source: Ron Kraybill, quoted in Tell it to the Church, Lynn Buzzard, David C. Cook, 1982, p. 23

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