Okay, so most of us run into situations where the conversation goes south, we get frustrated, and we wish we’d never engaged the conversation in the first place.
When two people do that, it’s called colluding.
Here’s another way to define it: Colluding is when you have a behavior pattern with someone else where you contribute to both of you being drawn into a negative cycle.
Happens to me sometimes with my kids.
For example, one of them might have forgotten to do a chore, so I ask them about it. They respond that they didn’t know they needed to do it. I respond that in fact we’d discussed this before and it’s definitely their chore and they need to go and do it. They respond saying, “Whatever” or getting grumpy with me. So I call them on getting grumpy, and I’m starting to get grumpy. Then they just get more grumpy.
And so the cycle goes. And we’re colluding.
You see, the original problem wasn’t about being grumpy or a need to discipline that.
The problem began in one of two places:
- If I’m nagging them about the job and “reminding” them, then I’m actually not doing them any favors. I need to let the natural consequences of not doing the chore take its course. So instead of nagging, I need to let the consequence happen.
- If I did need to remind them—because we have a deadline, for example—I need to avoid the coming tug of war. Letting myself get drawn into the back and forth is the part where I colluded with them.
It’s hard to change patterns of collusion, but it can be done.
The first step is to start paying attention to what throws you off balance. What things lead you into a tug of war?
Then learn to recognize them in the moment and create plans and patterns for staying in my zen place, holding to just the immediate issue, and letting clearly defined consequences run their course.
Takes practice, a continual renewal of determination, and forgiveness from you to both parties.
But it makes things so much simpler, clear, and emotionally resilient for you and the other person!
So get your anti-colluding gear on and start watching behaviors change fast!
PS: Ready to stop colluding? What you need is to gain vision on how to accomplish your goals, clarity on overcoming the obstacles that get in your way, and want to create an effective strategy that will help you avoid colluding and improve in any area. Read my post, “How to Achieve Your Goals (in 4 Simple Steps)“, then download my Success Staircase and Framework (the link is on the page). It’s a clear, holistic, and effective strategy you can start—today!