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Advice #29

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ADVICE DAD NEVER GAVE YOU

Ralph Sorter

   I made a rash decision of passion when I was young, and I paid for it dearly…physically.  Gloria and I were just getting to know each other.  A group of college students decided to go skiing in the middle of the week.  Gloria invited me to go with her.  My heart raced.  I skipped a physics lab to go.

   I had skied only one time previously.  I spent the morning on the bunny slope trying to perfect the snowplow.  Another guy asked Gloria to go with him up the mountain.  (Never let jealousy make a rash decision.)  I followed them to the top.  Bad decision.  The snowplow doesn’t work on ice & moguls.  After many falls, I walked the bottom third.  I was mad I hadn’t caught up with them and embarrassed having to walk the last part of the run.  It turned out all right…she came over for dinner that night to meet the folks.  The rest is history.

   Lesson learned: Don’t venture out on slippery slopes without the skills to get you down the hill.

   Working with marriages and families I’ve found a new application: Conflict is a slippery slope…you need to watch the flags for different zones. 

   The Escape Zone: This zone is marked by denial of any wrong in an argument.  We play the blame game (which by the way has no winners).  Or we run away from conflict, leaving the matter unresolved and the other person still hurting.

   The Attack Zone: This dangerous zone is marked by fighting, ugly talk that stirs up anger, put downs, and sometimes physical force.  Damage is always the result, and it’s hard to repair.

   The Work-It-Out Zone: This is the only good zone on the slippery slope of conflict.  Here we talk things out, make an honest effort to understand their point of view, decide to forgive a wrong, or get help on resolving conflicts.  Skiing in this zone always results in romance at the end of the day.

A Message from HOPE’S

Marriage & Family Ministry

ADVICE DAD NEVER GAVE YOU

Ralph Sorter

   I made a rash decision of passion when I was young, and I paid for it dearly…physically.  Gloria and I were just getting to know each other.  A group of college students decided to go skiing in the middle of the week.  Gloria invited me to go with her.  My heart raced.  I skipped a physics lab to go.

   I had skied only one time previously.  I spent the morning on the bunny slope trying to perfect the snowplow.  Another guy asked Gloria to go with him up the mountain.  (Never let jealousy make a rash decision.)  I followed them to the top.  Bad decision.  The snowplow doesn’t work on ice & moguls.  After many falls, I walked the bottom third.  I was mad I hadn’t caught up with them and embarrassed having to walk the last part of the run.  It turned out all right…she came over for dinner that night to meet the folks.  The rest is history.

   Lesson learned: Don’t venture out on slippery slopes without the skills to get you down the hill.

   Working with marriages and families I’ve found a new application: Conflict is a slippery slope…you need to watch the flags for different zones. 

   The Escape Zone: This zone is marked by denial of any wrong in an argument.  We play the blame game (which by the way has no winners).  Or we run away from conflict, leaving the matter unresolved and the other person still hurting.

   The Attack Zone: This dangerous zone is marked by fighting, ugly talk that stirs up anger, put downs, and sometimes physical force.  Damage is always the result, and it’s hard to repair.

   The Work-It-Out Zone: This is the only good zone on the slippery slope of conflict.  Here we talk things out, make an honest effort to understand their point of view, decide to forgive a wrong, or get help on resolving conflicts.  Skiing in this zone always results in romance at the end of the day.

A Message from HOPE’S

Marriage & Family Ministry

ADVICE DAD NEVER GAVE YOU

Ralph Sorter

   I made a rash decision of passion when I was young, and I paid for it dearly…physically.  Gloria and I were just getting to know each other.  A group of college students decided to go skiing in the middle of the week.  Gloria invited me to go with her.  My heart raced.  I skipped a physics lab to go.

   I had skied only one time previously.  I spent the morning on the bunny slope trying to perfect the snowplow.  Another guy asked Gloria to go with him up the mountain.  (Never let jealousy make a rash decision.)  I followed them to the top.  Bad decision.  The snowplow doesn’t work on ice & moguls.  After many falls, I walked the bottom third.  I was mad I hadn’t caught up with them and embarrassed having to walk the last part of the run.  It turned out all right…she came over for dinner that night to meet the folks.  The rest is history.

   Lesson learned: Don’t venture out on slippery slopes without the skills to get you down the hill.

   Working with marriages and families I’ve found a new application: Conflict is a slippery slope…you need to watch the flags for different zones. 

   The Escape Zone: This zone is marked by denial of any wrong in an argument.  We play the blame game (which by the way has no winners).  Or we run away from conflict, leaving the matter unresolved and the other person still hurting.

   The Attack Zone: This dangerous zone is marked by fighting, ugly talk that stirs up anger, put downs, and sometimes physical force.  Damage is always the result, and it’s hard to repair.

   The Work-It-Out Zone: This is the only good zone on the slippery slope of conflict.  Here we talk things out, make an honest effort to understand their point of view, decide to forgive a wrong, or get help on resolving conflicts.  Skiing in this zone always results in romance at the end of the day.

A Message from HOPE’S

Marriage & Family Ministry

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