The other day a colleague (I’ll call her Janet) told me she and a co-worker (I’ll call him David) had a heated disagreement about a work matter. Janet went on to say that David called her a few hours after and left a contrite message asking to have a coffee and work things out. She then told me she decided not to reply for a few days to let David “stew in his own juices” for a while. When I asked what she means by that, Janet answered, “I thought I’d just let him feel badly a little longer for being a jerk”.
I found myself internally reacting and I wondered what motivated Janet’s decision to let David “stew”. I don’t know Janet all that well and hesitated to pry. I started to think though about what reasons may compel that choice of coping. I thought maybe Janet perceived whatever David did was too egregious for her to forgive. Maybe she felt so offended she wanted to retaliate and cause David to worry about the consequences. Maybe it is about asserting power. Whether Janet’s approach was due to these or other reasons, I thought her decision worth exploring in this week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog and specifically, the expression “stew in his own juices”. This phrase is often used when someone determines they are not going to respond to another with whom there has been a conflict. According to the source I found, it is about leaving the other person to fret, suffer, and ruminate about what occurred.
If you have used this expression or essentially implied it by purposely refusing to talk about a conflict situation when the other person attempts to do so, these questions are some to consider.
What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?
Originally posted at www.cinergycoaching.com/blog/