INSIDE BUT OUTSIDE
At one point or the other, we all have been third-party to a situation or relationship. Whether that experience reinforced your beliefs or smashed them against the rocks remains much to be said. In this article, emphasis is on how being the third-party requires a great level of diplomacy and the level of risk it entails.
Dispute resolution is a major concept that should be looked into in romantic relationships. As humans, we try to make people see things from our perspective alone to get support against the “seeming” opposition irrespective of the facts on the ground. It often always becomes a “whose side are you on?” type of scenario. In most relationships, dispute resolution is routed through a third party who probably had ties with either of them, before developing mutuality with both of them. In other cases, it is just a close associate of one party.
What makes a piece of advice bad doesn’t always have to be the content of the advice. Sometimes, it is the execution that always goes overboard or a brand new twist developed in the story. One major function of the third-party is to be an adviser. People need people to reinforce and resonate their thoughts or in very few cases, bring in another point of view. The third-party can be the catalyst that creates the bed for hard decisions to be made using his sense of judgement on the whole situation.
Like a pendulum bob, it can swing anywhere. When it turns out fine, everyone is happy. However, if it doesn’t go as expected, you can become the villain in the story. The burden of responsibility is pushed from the major actors to the external influence. This, of course, I would say, is quite abysmal.
You can be accused easily of favoring one party over the other or being lopsided. In other manipulative relationships, one actor can influence the other to make you look like the problem. Before you say, Jack Robinson, you are already the devil incarnate trying to use “divide and rule” to cause issues. Enmity could arise and get you cut off.
As a third-party in both cases, your intentions can easily be misrepresented. Always know that. However, is it always possible to remain neutral? Factually, I think so. But when emotion and perceptions come into play, it takes a new turn. Some action points to note when such situations arise are listed below.
1) Positioning: Never position yourself as the judge/umpire. Always remember to lay back the burden of responsibility to the major actors. You can encourage them to settle within themselves. You must constantly emphasize the role you are playing. Apportioning of blames might go well in some cases, but not all the time. You have to steer clear when it is not welcome.
2) Objectivity: Your tone of speech must always be objective. You should make each party aware of the pros and cons of what is brought before you and let them do the honors of making the final decision. The ability to see things from more than the two perspectives is also necessary,
3) Information Segmenting: As an effective third-party, you do not have to divulge all the information party A tells you to party B. In the process of narrating the whole scenario, party A might have made some unintended far-reaching statements. You have to know how to pick out the relevant part and communicate effectively.
4) Fact-driven: Always be keen on staying with the facts of the matter. As a middleman, you should not get inflamed by the emotions a single party is bringing.
5) Willingness to refer: In cases where the scope is beyond what your experience and wisdom can carry, do not hesitate to point them in the direction where they can be better enlightened. It doesn’t always have to start and end with you.
6) Understand the people you are dealing with: Some individuals are averse to correction. Others are myopic and stiff-necked. Understanding both parties would give you an edge in knowing the right approach to use.
The most important part is stated below:
That you have done everything the right way doesn’t mean you would get the right results especially as it is dependent on others. Mediating from the place of love can turn around to burn your fingers. It can also go as smooth as silk. It is a necessary risk that you cannot run away from. After all, pray that the Spirits be with you.
With undiluted love from the fence,