What happens when you think you’re being pushed? Try this fun little demonstration when you’re discussing conflict at a staff meeting: Get a volunteer, we’ll call him Jack. Stand in front of the group about two feet apart facing each other. Raise your right hand as if you were about to take an oath. Ask Jack to raise his left hand. Place your palms gently together.
Without saying another word, slowly start pushing your hand forward. I bet he pushes back.
Now, ask the rest of the group what just happened. They’ll probably respond that you were pushing, and Jack was pushing back. Ask him why he was pushing back when he wasn’t instructed to do so. He might say he wasn’t going to let you push him over.
…he wasn’t going to let you push him over.
We have a need for balance in life. What happens when we feel pushed? We tend to push back. What happens when the push is more mental, less physical? We still tend to push back. Misunderstandings, arguments, fights, and wars start when a person thinks he’s being pushed.
Sometimes, though, we just think we’re being pushed. In our rush to judge, what if we interpret it incorrectly? Then we become the pusher, instead of the pushed. How do you respond when someone:
- Frowns in your direction
- Looks right through you
- Almost cuts you off in a passing car
- Gives you a weird compliment
- Doesn’t respond to your greeting
Do you think you’re being pushed? Do you push back? Take a minute and think it through before you implement an automatic “equal and opposite reaction.”
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