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"Who is being awkward?" Lessons for Living, by Dr Neil Thompson

Life is never without its challenge, but there is always the opportunity to learn and grow from those demands made on us. Dr Neil Thompson offers advice to tackle these problems and help social workers and care professionals to realise their potential.

07/12/20

"Who is being awkward?" Lessons for Living, by Dr Neil Thompson

It is not uncommon for us to find ourselves in situations where we are wondering: ‘Why is so and so being so awkward?’.

In such circumstances we tend to focus on their behaviour or attitude, but this can be misleading. That is because the chances are that, while we are thinking they are being awkward, they are probably thinking we are being awkward.

So, what can often happen is that a situation that is rooted in a conflict between two parties is not recognized as such by either of them, each putting the difficulties down to the other’s ‘awkward’ behaviour.

While some people are often uncooperative for their own reasons, in the majority of cases believing that someone is being awkward should alert us to a conflict situation which should be addressed as such – that is, we need to look at the situation in terms of the interactions between us (and any conflicts of interest, perspective, goals or values that might be underpinning them) and not simply in terms of the other person’s behaviour.

Dr Neil Thompson is an independent writer, educator and adviser.

His website is www.NeilThompson.info.

Connect with him online via @drneilthompson.

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