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Sooner or later there will be another opponent, and at some point the use of force will fail. The presence of conflict calls not for greater force, but for broader consciousness. If something you are doing is not working, doing more of it will usually not work any better. True resolution asks us not to act stronger, but to think bigger; Master Key: The Answer Is Always at a Higher Level than the Problem Along these same lines, he would share too many secrets and would constantly make poor judgments about whom to trust. Another aspect of social difficulties stemmed from Ben's poor motor skills. He was extremely clumsy and awkward, so his peers didn't want to play with him. Until age eleven, Ben had no behavioral problems at all. His Ritalin kept his hyperactivity in check and allowed him to focus in school. At home he was compliant and cuddly. As puberty set in, however, his behavior changed dramatically. Although he never threw tantrums as a child, he began raging in adolescence. He became defiant and stubborn. He argued about everything, whereas before he argued about little. At the restaurant, Clyde sees there is a special dish on the menu: his favorite pasta with fresh white truffles flown in from Elba. It comes at a hefty price, but truffle season is short, and Clyde doesn't want to miss out. No-nunchi Clyde orders the truffled pasta, and then is mortified when he sees his girlfriend's parents, who are paying for the meal, select the cheapest dishes on the menu.

If Clyde had used his nunchi he would have asked his girlfriend's parents what dishes they recommended from the menu, or would have insisted they order first. This would have given him an indication of whether they were going all-out with lobster and other expensive dishes, or whether their budget was more modest. Being guided by the person you wish to impress will rarely let you down. Mirroring someone's tone of voice can be a very nunchi-ful way to make an immediate connection too, as long as you do it carefully and don't appear to be mimicking. This means matching their tone, whether that is excited or angry or quiet. You are making an effort to meet them where they are, instead of imposing your own tone on them. Take Dan, for example, a vacuum cleaner salesman who often has to deal with disgruntled customers coming into the shop demanding refunds or replacements. Carl Jung recognized that conflict exists strictly as an opportunity to raise our consciousness. If we do not wake up as a result of pain, we will only act out the same scenario in a more intense form. Most pharmaceutical medications do not make the problem go away; Unless we have a change of consciousness, the symptoms will probably reappear. The symptoms are not our enemy, but our friend; When nature hits a set of limits, it innovates. Millions of years ago there was no oxygen in the atmosphere of the earth, and living things on the planet functioned without oxygen. When green plants showed up in the course of evolution, a great quantity of oxygen was introduced into the atmosphere. Amazing as it may sound, oxygen started out as a poison - many living things were not able to process it, and they died in its presence. Some life forms, however, were able to adapt through mutation, and that was the beginning of gills and lungs, which are now standard fare for breathing creatures on the planet. His black-and-white thinking became even more starkly defined. He began to isolate himself excessively, even within the family. He was content to spend hours in his room and would rage when he had to come out.

During this time Ben quit taking his medicine. We recognized that it was not as effective as it had once been in helping with his mood swings, hyperactivity, and lack of focus. His hyperactivity had begun to wane on its own, but his moods had begun to swing more dramatically from happy-go-lucky to anger to sadness. It did not occur to me then that Ben might have Asperger's and not ADHD as originally diagnosed. As I learned more about Asperger's syndrome, however, I began to think Ben's development more readily fit into the autistic spectrum. Like Ben, Leah was diagnosed with ADHD in early elementary school. She, too, had black-and-white thinking, was highly proficient verbally, and was extremely hyperactive. Dan's goal is to neutralize the situation as quickly as possible, so that the customer leaves feeling happy that he has offered them a good solution. When he first began the job, he would ask the angry customers to Calm down before offering them a refund or replacement, but he soon discovered this tactic only enraged them more, as they felt he was dismissing their legitimate concerns. Now Dan approaches the situation like this: CUSTOMER: I bought this from you last week and it's already broken! DAN: What? That is terrible! You must be so annoyed. CUSTOMER: I am annoyed, I've had to come all the way back to the store, it's miles out of my way and I had to leave work early. DAN: I'd be furious too, this really shouldn't happen. Especially when the machine is brand new. While our rudimentary biological forerunners could not imagine a world with oxygen, now we cannot imagine a world without it. We innovated, and that has made all the difference. We are all familiar with the expression, survival of the fittest.

Usually we think of the fittest as the biggest and the strongest. Look again at the word fit, and you will see an altogether more practical meaning. The fittest are those who are the best at fitting in. Sometimes that means big and strong, but more often it means the most adaptable, flexible, and versatile. Water would seem weak when compared to a formidable rock, but send water over a boulder for a long enough time, and the water will wear away the boulder. It has an entirely different kind of power than the rock - fluidity - and so the water endures while the rock does not. Dinosaurs were once the largest and strongest creatures on the planet, but they became extinct because they could not adapt to rapid climatic changes. Unlike Ben, however, Leah was tremendously oppositional. At home, she would rage at the slightest provocation. She tortured her sisters regularly and once even chased them with a butcher knife. She would find snakes in the yard and throw them at her mother. In school, she would dance on the desks, talk back to teachers, and devise malicious pranks. Socially, she would isolate herself rather than seek friends. She rejected overtures from girls who sought her friendship, preferring instead to play with boys since she was physically coordinated. She, too, became prone to dramatic mood swings ranging from dark depression to raging mania. In addition to her diagnosis of ADHD, Leah was also labeled a behavior problem. After a while, she quit taking the Ritalin and told her parents that she had. CUSTOMER: It really shouldn't. DAN: I'm so sorry we've let you down. How can we make it up to you?

CUSTOMER: I want you to replace it free of charge. DAN: I quite understand. Let me see what we can do for you. By matching the tone of the angry customer, Dan meets them on their level. They feel their concerns are heard and understood. They lose their urge to escalate the argument because they believe that both parties are already on the same article. This allows Dan to bring the conversation to a resolution much more quickly than if he said (as he sometimes thinks), Relax, man, it's only a vacuum cleaner. I sometimes wonder why dinosaurs have become a commercial craze during the last decade. We are being faced with intensely rapid evolutionary advances that call for us to adapt, perhaps even mutate, quickly. Those who cling to the old order, no matter how big, strong, and powerful they were in the old value system, will have to let go of the past regime to live successfully in the new world that is forming around a higher vibrational level. The force of evolution is stronger than any personal or institutional ego. If we understand, however, that the next evolutionary step is infinitely more rewarding than the old one, there is no reason to try to hold on to the old way. The changes are not a wall, but a door. It is only when you see change as a threat that it seems frightening. Change is a blessing; Remember the Course in Miracles teaching, All change is good. Beyond Challenge At age ten she started self-medicating with drugs and alcohol to ease the mood swings and the feelings of isolation from not fitting in with her peers. She became a social chameleon, changing to fit in with whatever group she was around. Although she did not understand the social rules governing interactions, Leah mimicked the behaviors and appearance of the groups.