Quotes from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict

The Arbinger Institute ·  231 pages

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“There is a question I have learned to ask myself when I am feeling bothered about others: am I holding myself to the same standard I am demanding of them?”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“Most wars between individuals are of the 'cold' rather than the 'hot' variety---lingering resentment, for example, grudges long held, resources clutched rather than shared, help not offered. These are the acts of war that most threaten our homes and workplaces.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“...when I betray myself, others' faults become immediately inflated in my heart and mind. I begin to 'horribilize' others. That is, I begin to make them out to be worse than they really are. And I do this because the worse they are, the more justified I feel.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“The more sure I am that I'm right, the more likely I will actually be mistaken. My need to be right makes it more likely that I will be wrong! Likewise, the more sure I am that I am mistreated, the more likely I am to miss ways that I am mistreating others myself. My need for justification obscures the truth.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“...no conflict can be solved so long as all parties are convinced they are right. Solution is possible only when at least one party begins to consider how he might be wrong.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict



“Seeing an equal person as an inferior object is an act of violence”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“So if we are going to find lasting solutions to difficult conflicts or external wars we find ourselves in, we first need to find our way out of the internal wars that are poisoning our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes toward others. If we can't put an end to the violence within us, there is no hope for putting an end to the violence without.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“In every moment...we choose to see others either as people like ourselves or as objects. They either count like we do or they don't.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“Because if you are the mess, you can clean it. Improvement doesn't depend on others.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“Bruises heal more quickly than emotional scars do.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict



“Have you ever been in a conflict with someone who thought he was wrong. If you are not wrong, then you will be willing to consider how you might be mistaken.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“As painful as it is to receive contempt from another, it is more debilitating by far to be filled with contempt for another.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“A solution to the inner war solves the outer war as well.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“...whenever i dehumanize another, I necessarily dehumanize all that is human---including myself.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“People whose hearts are at war toward others can't consider others' objections and challenges enough to be able to find a way through them.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict



“If we have deep problems, it's because we are failing at the deepest part of the solution. And when we fail at this deepest level, we invite our own failure.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“But like many who are lonely, I was more preoccupied with others than were those who lived to socialize...Everyone I hated was always with me, even when I was alone. They had to be, for I had to remember what and why I hated in order to remind myself to stay away from them.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“Most problems in life are not solved merely by correction.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“When you begin to see others as people,’ Ben told me, ‘issues related to race, ethnicity, religion, and so on begin to look and feel different. You end up seeing people who have hopes, dreams, fears, and even justifications that resemble your own.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“In the way we regard our children, our spouses, neighbors, colleagues, and strangers, we choose to see others either as people like ourselves or as objects.They either count like we do or they don't. In the former case we regard them as we regard ourselves, we say our hearts are at peace toward them. In the latter case, since we systematically view them as inferior, we say our hearts are at war.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict



“If you see people of a particular race or culture as objects, your view of them is racist, whatever your color or lack of color or you power or lack of power.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“My disability was my justification! It was my excuse for failing to engage with the world.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“the way we can know if we’ve betrayed ourselves is by whether we are still desiring to be helpful.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“But none of that is possible,” he continued, “if my heart is at war. A heart at war needs enemies to justify its warring. It needs enemies and mistreatment more than it wants peace.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“If we are poor learners, our teaching will be ineffective.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict



“... if I'm sure I'm right, there is little hope of seeing where I am failing. So I keep trying the same old things-”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“So, for example, if I had been raised in a critical or demanding environment, it might have been easier for me, relatively speaking, to find refuge in worse-than or need-to-be-seen-as justifications. Those who were raised in affluent or sanctimonious environments, on the other hand, may naturally gravitate to better-than and I-deserve justifications, and so on. Need-to-be-seen-as boxes might easily arise in such circumstances as well. “But the key point, and the point that is the same for all of us, is that we all grab for justification, however we can get it. Because grabbing for justification is something we do, we can undo it. Whether we find justification in how we are worse or in how we are better, we can each find our way to a place where we have no need for justification at all. We can find our way to peace—deep, lasting, authentic peace—even when war is breaking out around us.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“Another characteristic of conflicts such as these,” he said, gesturing toward the board, “is the propensity to demonize others. One way we do this is by lumping others into lifeless categories—bigoted whites, for example, lazy blacks, crass Americans, arrogant Europeans, violent Arabs, manipulative Jews, and so on. When we do this, we make masses of unknown people into objects and many of them into our enemies.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“Seeing an equal person as an inferior object is an act of violence, Lou. It hurts as much as a punch to the face. In fact, in many ways it hurts more. Bruises heal more quickly than emotional scars do.”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“What are you afraid of, Lou?” “Afraid? I’m not afraid of anything,” Lou”
― The Arbinger Institute, quote from The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict



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