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Crisis Negotiators Give Thanksgiving Tips -

Stashed in: Influence!, Listen!, Negotiation, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Thanksgiving, Writing, @emesfahanismith, Peacemaking...., Listening

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“Just shut up and listen,” said Frederick J. Lanceley, the F.B.I.’s former senior negotiator and former principal director of its negotiation course, when asked how to get two parties who are at odds with each other to cooperate at the holiday dinner table. “People want to be heard. They want the attention.”

Find a co-negotiator:

Is lying ever necessary? Jennifer Hardwich, a police officer with the Syracuse Police Department and a regional vice president of the New York Association of Hostage Negotiators, said: “Instead of lying, we call it minimizing. You try to get people to think that a situation isn’t so bad, you break it down for them so they see that it isn’t the end of the world, that maybe they don’t need to make such a big deal of it. We try to reframe things rather than flat-out lie.”

Ah, minimizing. Reframing. With such emollient terminology are labeled the tools of the persuasive arts. Fortunately for those who may think they’re being manipulative when employing any of the aforementioned gambits, there’s cavalry. As Robin Burcell, who spent more than two decades as a police officer, hostage negotiator and detective before becoming a crime novelist, pointed out, you’re not alone in these operations.

“A negotiator almost always has a co-negotiator, someone who’s listening and taking notes,” she said. “Someone who says, ‘He mentioned Mom three times now, probably Mom is at the heart of the issue.’ Maybe enlist someone to be your co-negotiator.”

Emily Esfahani Smith on why your family drives you crazy:

Sometimes the people we hurt are the ones we love:

The main reason why family members clash in this way is the same reason why they love each other so much: comfort. Family members know each other so well — too well — and that means they feel comfortable around each other. There are obviously great benefits to being in relationships where people feel accepted and secure. But comfort is a double-edged sword. It means that individuals feel safe showing every side of themselves to others — the good and, unfortunately, the bad and the ugly.

"The fact that you can be meanest to the ones you love is not a sign that you feel the most negative to loved ones," said Margaret Clark, a social psychologist at Yale University whose research focuses on relationships. "But that you feel the most comfortable to express your negative emotions to them."

The ability of one family member — like the daughter in the example above — to express his or her irritation may actually be a sign of the relationship's strength. The better the relationship, the freer we feel to gripe about being annoyed; this means we feel safe in the relationship, without the fear of abandonment or the revoking of love.

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