This is a self-help book on how to positively resolve the intractable differences that sometimes arise in our relationships, whether it is with family or friends or on the job. There is even a section on how to help resolve the differences between other people.
We all make choices as we go through our daily lives. When we chose to do what we believe is the “right thing,” we feel good about ourselves, and when we do what we know is wrong, we often feel guilt, embarrassment, and shame. These emotions tear away at our self-respect and eat away at our self-esteem.
Lieberman, David J., Phd., Make Peace with Anyone, p. 4
As with Dr. Lieberman’s other books, this one consists of a series of short sections covering various types of interpersonal situations with suggested steps to bring them under control. Although the sections are no longer than in the other books, they seem to be more to the point somehow. Perhaps because the focus is narrower. Many of the suggested steps for the various types of disagreements are similar or exactly the same, but a lot of this is because the causes are often similar despite the differences in the situations.
Some of the frequently suggested steps for resolving conflicts include apologizing, demonstrating respect, showing regret and pain, and asking for forgiveness. You will rarely make much headway in ending a conflict if you insist that you are totally in the right and that the other person must yield to your control.
When we do not get respect from others, we get angry because it hurts how we need to see ourselves. It cuts off our “food” supply – our nourishment for the psyche. And this disrupts our ability to feel in control. The emotional response to this loss of control is fear. And the response to fear – the ego’s attempt to compensate for the loss is anger. At the root of all negative emotions – envy, lust, jealousy, and especially anger is fear. At the root of fear is low self-esteem. This is why angry people have low self-esteem. This is why they argue, are stubborn, and don’t forgive. Anger makes us feel powerful. It gives us the illusion that we are in control, free, and independent. But in reality it makes us lose control.
Lieberman, David J., Phd., Make Peace with Anyone, p. 8
Additionally, he includes a better definition of respect, self-respect, and self-esteem than I have seen anywhere else. This book is good enough that I may just keep it. After all, who doesn’t occasionally need to be able to resolve their conflicts with other people?
Cover image from Goodreads.
Title: Make Peace with Anyone
Breakthrough Strategies to Quickly End Any Conflict, Feud, or Estrangement
Author: David J. Lieberman Ph.D.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin