If the parties involved are not careful they can begin growing even more

If the parties involved are not careful they can

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If the parties involved are not careful, they can begin growing even more triangles off the ends of the existing ones, causing more and more emotional triangles to emerge. Of course, there is also the triangle involving Yasmin and Carla’s manager. In this case, Yasmin (A) talks about Carla (B) to the manager, who is now being put in the (C) position. But let’s go back to the original conflict. It can be drawn differently too. Consider the following: Yasmin (A) has a problem with feeling insecure in her relationships (B). To deal with that, she shares confidential information to Carla, another colleague (C). Or, look at it this way: Carla (A) has a memory (B) of being betrayed by a friend in the past. When Carla discovers that Yasmin has shared personal information about her, those old feelings of betrayal are awakened to the degree that at some level, Yasmin is in the role of C to Carla’s old wound (B). Or you could say that Carla is (A) and her confidential information is (B) and Yasmin is in the (C) position relative to that information. Or, Elaine is (A) and Yasmin is (B). Remember that Elaine has pre-existing concerns about Yasmin before Carla ever came to speak with her. In this case, even though Carla is the one who Figure 6: PD7 Unit 03 Reflect and Deconstruct 1 01:40 I F T H E P A R T I E S I N V O L V E D A R E N O T C A R E F U L , T H E Y C A N B E G I N G R O W I N G E V E N M O R E T R I A N G L E S O F F T H E E N D S O F T H E E X I S T I N G O N E S , C A U S I N G M O R E A N D M O R E E M O T I O N A L T R I A N G L E S T O E M E R G E .
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6 © University of Waterloo and others approaches Elaine, how Elaine deals with that conflict could cause her to put Carla in the (C) position relative to her own conflict with Yasmin. H O W D O E S T R I A N G U L A T I O N H E L P U S T O D E A L W I T H C O N F L I C T ? So where does the conflict really start and how does the concept of triangulation help us to deal with conflict? Conflicts rarely exist only at the surface of what is see-able or knowable. There are almost always deeper currents going on, of which the people involved may or may not be aware. In fact, we could keep peeling away at this conflict even beyond what we have done above. This is part of what makes dealing with conflict so complex. But, here is perhaps what is most surprising: being triangulated into somebody else’s conflict is not necessarily bad. Managers, parents, friends, siblings, colleagues all of these people are regularly triangulated into tough situations, often without being aware of it. In these situations, the person being triangulated is being asked most often informally to play some type of a mediating role. In fact, to be a mediator is to be triangulated that is the definition of mediation. The question is not really whether or not we will be triangulated. The question is how we will deal with triangulation when it happens.
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