Dignity, Self-Preservation and Conflict Resolution in Relationships
Whether a conflict involves international powers, corporate leadership, or a husband and wife, a violation of dignity is always the underlying cause. No matter the situation, we are all looking to be treated as if we have worth and value, and it is this fundamental desire for dignity that makes us human. How can a better understanding of the principles of dignity help us improve our relationships and address conflicts in a way that doesn’t perpetuate a destructive dynamic?
Donna Hicks has 20-plus years of experience as a facilitator in international conflicts in the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Cuba, Northern Ireland and the US. Her understanding of dignity and the role it plays in resolving conflict has transformed work environments for prominent companies, nonprofits and government agencies, and Donna’s impressive client roster includes the World Bank, the United Nations, the US Navy and the Senate of Colombia. She was a featured speaker at TEDx Stormont in 2013 and co-host of Facing the Truth for the BBC with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2006. Donna is the author of the bestseller Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict, and she has been invited to discuss the topic on prominent media outlets including the BBC, Fox News and NPR.
Today, Donna sits down with Katherine to explain how her work with international conflict resolution translates to families. She discusses the universal desire to be treated as if we matter as the one aspiration that unites us all. Donna speaks to the concept of dignity within the context of marriage, describing how self-preservation instincts make it difficult to give our partners the benefit of the doubt and apologize for dignity violations. Listen in for insight around the technique of ‘getting up on the balcony’ to reflect on your behavior and pausing for 90 seconds before responding to a dignity violation.
How Donna’s work with international conflict translates to families
The universal desire to be treated as someone with value, worth
How a dignity violation is the underlying cause of every conflict
Donna’s insight around dignity as the aspiration that unites us all
The concept of dignity in the framework of marriage
How external pressures undermine our sense of dignity for our partners
The idea of attribution error in the context of marriage
The benefit of the doubt as an essential element of honoring dignity
How the desire to get even is prompted by self-preservation instinct
The technique of ‘getting up on the balcony’ to reflect on your behavior
How the brain responds to dignity violations the same as physical harm
The value in pausing for 90 seconds before responding to a violation
The challenge of apologizing in spite of the instinct to eliminate a threat
How to provide feedback about how you were hurt without returning harm
Connect with Donna Hicks
Connect with Katherine Miller
The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller
Call (914) 738-7765