Wiktionary suggests the following idiomatic explanations of the expression walking on eggshells: 1. “To be overly careful in dealing with a person or situation because they get angry or offended very easily; to try very hard not to upset someone or something.” and 2. “To be careful and sensitive, in handling very sensitive matters.”
When applied to interpersonal conflict I think of those disconcerting situations – consistent with the explanations above – when I am reluctant to raise an issue expecting that by doing so I will overly upset the other person. It seems this is most likely to occur when I have a history with and am aware of her or his sensibilities. Though I expect it also happens when we don’t know the other person but reckon that what we have to say will be difficult to receive. In any case, the image itself – from whatever the source –conjures up an extremely uncomfortable experience.
When I think about this – as I am writing this week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog – I realize that I would not like someone to feel this way about me. What also occurs to me is that we give a lot of power to people when we walk on eggshells around them and maybe they don’t own it.
If you tend to walk on eggshells around certain people, or are aware that others do about you, these questions will hopefully resonate.
What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?
Originally posted at www.cinergycoaching.com/blog/