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On Conflict...but first, coffee
What I learned about handling conflict from letting my coffee cool down
Alright, let's talk about conflict.
But first, coffee.
I don't know if you know this, but your coffee actually changes flavors as it cools down. Maybe the coffee doesn’t change flavors, but your brain grows in its ability to process flavors as the coffee cools down. Your brain can't do hot and nuanced at the same time. It's the reason why gas station coffee is so hot. Do you know why gas station coffee is so hot?
Because it’s TRASH.
And as it cools down, you start to taste the subtle notes of ash and roasted bicycle tires the heat was hiding. But with good coffee, you get a mirrored experience. The flavor changes, but for the better. As it cools down, you're able to enjoy some of the subtle notes and sweetnesses the heat was hiding!
If your coffee’s too hot, you shouldn't judge the quality prematurely. You won’t be able to understand the true nature of the coffee until it cools.
Conflict is the same way. Your brain can't do hot and nuanced at the same time. It's the reason why when you're smoking mad, you end up (1) saying things that you don't mean and (2) hearing things the other person didn't actually say. The conflict’s too hot. Hot and nuanced are parallel streets. They don’t have any points of intersection. You’ve got to let it cool. The nature of the relationship shouldn’t be judged when conflict is the hottest. Like that cup of coffee, you're only gonna understand the true nature of that cup of conflict once it cools down.
So today, if you're smoking mad at somebody, let it cool off. I guarantee you'll better be able to understand and process the nuances that're in that cup of conflict.