I learned something about resolving conflicts recently - in a marriage course. We all know about conflicts – that they are inevitable and its difficult to resolve because we tend to have different opinions and we are naturally selfish. But most of us fail to handle anger properly because we are either rhinos or hedgehogs.
Rhinos or Hedgehogs?
This is rather new to me but by knowing whether we are a rhino or hedgehog helps.
As most of us might know, rhinos have a reputation for being extremely aggressive and they charge readily at perceived threat. That’s their instinct and it was observed they charge tree trunks and termite mounds without giving a second thought. That’s who they are – can’t change that.
On the other hand, hedgehogs are small little animals that have stiff, sharp spines (similar to porcupines). They are small enough to fit in our hands but too prickly to hold. When disturbed or under threat, they will curl up into a tight ball, with its spines sticking out in all directions. And it will take an incredible amount of effort to get them to uncurl themselves.
In a conflict when we are upset or provoked, we can react like a rhino that launches an attack without thinking or we can be like the hedgehog, withdraws.
It’s good to find out what are we as well as those that we are working closely with. That would be the first step towards resolving a conflict.
So, after the exercise, I discovered I’m a true hedgehog. The "withdraw" reaction comes out in the form of silent treatment, needless to say my better half has never appreciated that much :p
So, what are you?