As you may know, the phrase driving a wedge between people describes the act of causing people to oppose or turn against one another – to spoil their relationship.

This expression seems to be used when referring to what a third party does that results in a schism between two (or more) others. That is, the two (or more) people may not be in conflict or there may be some tension but they are not necessarily disconnected. However, for some reason the third party attempts to turn one or both against the other.

Reasons that someone may intentionally drive a wedge between others undoubtedly vary. It may have to do with jealousy, insecurities about being left out, feeling territorial about one of the people, bearing negative feelings towards one, wanting to protect one, and disapproving of the relationship.

Driving a wedge may lead to conflict between the two people and/or between one or both of them and the person driving the wedge. In any case, it is helpful to consider the reasons that someone would drive a wedge between others. This is whether you have been on the receiving end of someone’s efforts to do this or have done so yourself. This week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog invites you to consider when you have driven a wedge between others, or someone has done that with you and another.

  • If you have ever tried to or succeeded in driving a wedge between others, what reasons motivated you to drive the wedge between those people?
  • What specifically did you do? What was the wedge? In what ways did you drive it?
  • How did you succeed in driving the wedge? What does that mean for you – that you succeeded? What does it mean for the two or more people?
  • If you did not succeed, what happened? What does that mean for you? What does it mean for the people that you drove the wedge between or among?
  • What reactions did you have from the people between or among which you tried to drive a wedge, other than what you may have answered so far?
  • When someone has driven a wedge between you and one or more others, what did she or he do specifically? What was the wedge? In what ways did she or he drive it?
  • How did the person succeed? How did she or he not succeed?
  • What was the experience like for you?
  • Where are things at now between you and the person who drove the wedge? Where are things at now between you and the other person or person between whom the wedge was driven?
  • What lessons are there to be learned from driving a wedge between people?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?

Originally posted at

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