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On Developing Oppositional Stability

Out of all the AND/life pillars, this one is the most challenging to grasp and definitely the hardest to apply to daily life. It also happens to be one of the most crucial to becoming your best, most fit, most stress-free self.

Developing oppositional stability is about leaning into a different point of view during conflict in order to get through it as quickly and painlessly as possible. It’s bending so that you don’t break. It’s putting your emotional and personal opinions to the side and seeing things from a larger perspective. Learning to say “yes” and accept everything you can, in order to focus on the key points of difference, and get out of a disagreement faster. This all leads to efficient stress management: less time spent on conflict and more time spent on what you really enjoy.

What does that look like in real life? Let’s take the classic couple argument about who does more at home. You can spend time and energy harboring resentment, slamming dishwashers and cabinets to make a point, or muttering passive-aggressive comments under your breath -- OR you can decide to deal with the situation head-on. Start by considering your partner’s perspective and acknowledging all the ways that he/she is helping... this builds empathy and, in turn, takes your anger down a notch (your partner’s as well when you say what you see aloud - which you must). From that more emotionally-settled place, you stand a far greater chance of working together to figure out how to support each other - and quickly get back to the life you enjoy! Stress management plus time management = a royal win/win!

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