n a recent post entitled “Listening for the Emotions“, I discussed that the best way to calm someone down is to address the emotion and not the words. I learned this in a training session with Douglas E. Noll.
However, I did not explain the theory behind this strategy. Again, Doug Noll explains it in his online article, “If you don’t Meet These Needs, You Will Never End the Drama.” According to Mr. Noll, he first heard this theory from Erica Ariel Fox who developed it with Daniel Bowling. According to them, in every conflict, there are six needs of each party that must be met before the conflict can be resolved. In discussing these needs, it is imperative to remember that EACH party- the victim and the offender, the plaintiff and the defendant, the employer and employee, the landlord and the tenant, et cetera feel victimized. Thus, EACH party to the conflict must have the following needs satisfied before she can reach closure. (Id.)
The first need is Vengeance. As Mr. Noll points out, this is an anticipatory emotion. In anticipation, our brains release dopamine which gives us a feeling of pleasure. Thus when we think about how good we will feel in obtaining vengeance, the dopamine releases, and we feel great. The problem is that the dopamine does not release with the actual act of vengeance. It releases ONLY in anticipation. Thus, when we do obtain our vengeance or retribution, we actually feel depressed or let down. No dopamine is released with the actual doing of the act. In reality, we will never feel better after obtaining actual retribution. (Id.)
The second need is Vindication. As Mr. Noll explains, this “… is the need to be right. Essentially, to be fulfilled, a victim must feel “I’m right and you are wrong.” ” (Id.) As Mr. Noll notes, there are very, very few situations in which any one person is 100 percent right and the other is zero percent wrong. Thus, both sides will rationalize and justify their conduct using various cognitive biases in the hopes of being vindicated. (Id.)
The third need is Validation. This “… is the need to be honored and respected as a human being.” (Id.) Each party to a dispute (being a “victim”) “… suffers injustice, betrayal… and
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