When we are in an interpersonal conflict we may find ourselves reacting when the other person tries to have or succeeds at getting the last word. Or, we may be the one who is trying or succeeds in doing so. According to one source, the definition of the phrase the last word includes: “the last thing said in an argument”; “information that everyone considers to be the best”; “the right to make a decision that everyone must obey”; and “the newest and best type of something”.
The general interpretation – when we or others assert ourselves by having the last word – is of someone needing to prove superiority and be right. On the receiving end of assertions of this nature the general feeling is often one of frustration because there is no apparent room for discussion.
Further, when this sort of dynamic occurs the conflict is bound to lack true resolution. The person who has the last word may act as though she or he has “won”, and often antipathy grows in the heart and mind of the other person. It seems at these times that the last word is the first sign of a disconnect in the relationship and indicator of how conflict matters are discussed with one another.
If you tend to want the last word or react negatively to others who do, this week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog will hopefully help you consider its impact.
What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?
P.S. Incidentally, Wikipedia, in a tongue and cheek way, provides suggestions on why and how to assert the right to the last word (abr. TLW™) over competing editors.
Originally posted at www.cinergycoaching.com/blog/