Rapid extirpation of complex contretemps — or how to stop fighting!

The process described below is a common event that happens often between humans. FIML practitioners will benefit from identifying and understanding this process as understanding it leads to harmonious resolutions while not understanding it often leads to fighting and bad feelings.

In this context, a contretemps is defined as a misunderstanding between two or more parties during an act of communication. Contretemps are resolved or extirpated through FIML practice or something similar.

Complex contretemps are contretemps that have more than one or two terms and that require several exchanges of information to be resolved

Complex contretemps often worsen rapidly as clarifying information and explanations go back and forth between participants more quickly than they can be processed and understood.

Recognizing this is happening or beginning to happen greatly facilitates a harmonious resolution. Complex contretemps can escalate quickly because partners are both trying to make their points and may fear losing hold of what they mean or meant. This process causes stress—sometimes considerable stress, even panic—and often induces loud stress tones in speakers.

If it is identified and understood as it begins or shortly thereafter, it will often resolve quickly. If it is not identified and understood, the stress voices, stress hormones, and confusion of meaning typically will cause fighting or bad feelings.

I usually give examples of what I mean, but in this case see if you can identify some complex contretemps on your own. They are characterized by the rapid exchange of information and explanations, by stress tones, and stress hormones. They usually are not pleasant. However, if they are identified and resolved quickly, partners should experience feelings of clarity and elevated thinking.

I see them as being like physical exercise. They make you work, but the result is good for you. These kinds of contretemps are common and completely unavoidable in honest relationships. They should be understood as a feature of language and as an inevitable part of interpersonal communication. The only way to completely avoid them is to abandon important aspects of interpersonal communication and thus stunt your relationship.

After a complex contretemps has been resolved or extirpated to the complete satisfaction of both partners, it is all but inevitable that stress feelings will remain for some time. This is due to emotions having a significant chemical basis that requires time to dissipate. The mind may be clear, but the stress hormones are still in the system.

first posted DECEMBER 7, 2015

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