Did you know you have a choice of how to respond in a conflict contrary to your instinctive reactions to participating in it and making it worse?
Seems like a silly question, but I think that many of us feel that when conflict arises we must initially fight back at the same level, contribute to the nastiness, and participate in the escalation in order for our viewpoint to be heard. How refreshing to know that we don’t have to do this.
Before I even heard the term, “drop the rope,” at times, I was already doing it without being aware of the concept.
However, at times I didn’t drop the rope. I felt compelled to continue on with battles filled with utter nonsense. Battles which should have never been battles to begin with and I fought them until the point of mental exhaustion.
In healthy relationships, dropping the rope is easy as neither side desires for a conflict or disagreement to escalate to the point that it threatens a friendship or relationship. Each side attempts to practice innate self-control and would never overstep boundaries to intentionally hurt the other person. They understand that whatever is being discussed is certainly not worth jeopardizing a friendship or relationship. Disagreements end when both sides respectfully agree to disagree and the moment is over.
In healthy relationships, both sides are subconsciously “dropping the rope” because it’s a natural instinct in good, decent people who do not want to fight and understand people are allowed to have a different viewpoint.
Is important that you quickly recognize when you are in a situation that is unresolvable. Not because you are unwilling to resolve issues, but the other party is unwilling.
So, what exactly is dropping the rope? It’s a beautiful mental tool to utilize when conflicts arise and how to keep yourself peaceful. Think of the old-school game of “tug of war.” If one team should “drop the rope” in the middle of the game, what happens? The game is over. In the case of tug of war, the team that dropped the rope loses. However, the exact opposite is the case when you drop the rope in any conflict. The person who drops the rope wins!
The concept of “dropping the rope” simply means you refuse to continue to engage in an argument that is bouncing back and forth with no end in sight. You assess the situation and determine that is not resolving and getting too heated. Rather than escalating the conflict further by continuing to contribute to it, you calmly and respectfully diffuse the situation by changing the subject or ending the argument altogether. You do your part to achieve peace for both you and the other party. In healthy relationships, everyone wins and there are no demands. You walk away with the same level of relationship as when you entered into the discussion.
Notice I said your goal is to achieve peace for both you and the other party. It’s not meant to be a demonstration of your dominance over the disagreement. When done correctly and lovingly, it is good for both parties.
So yes! You are winning because by dropping the rope, you have just achieved peace for you regardless of whether or not the other party does their part in dropping the rope! You have sent a clear message that you wish to no longer engage in a conversation going nowhere and your relationship and your peace are more important than proving a point.
Understand that it’s okay that if you dropping the rope and walking away for your peace makes them think they won. Make it a goal to get to the point where winning means you are secure in your convictions, you no longer need to provide extensive explanations for your beliefs and peace is your ultimate goal.
Dropping the rope is not complying or submitting, it’s recognizing you’re in a no-win situation and your peace is more important.
So my friends, when you are involved in your next conflict, whether it is disagreeing on political opinions or a difference of opinion on any hot topic, do yourself a huge favor and drop the rope! The best way for you to win is to not play.