In the news media you hear talk about how one side of an argument is refusing to negotiate in good faith. For example the Prime Minister of Israel was saying that the President of Iran would never negotiate in good faith. In his negotiations with Republicans, President Obama accused them of “moving the goalposts”; that is, as soon as he would agree to their demands, they would say no again. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in overcoming the partial federal government shutdown is the Republican Party’s negotiations with itself. They had to decide whether it was worth laying off federal workers, depriving people of badly needed services and risking next year’s elections in order to make a symbolic point about the Affordable Care and Personal Responsibility Act, who funding they were unable to cut off.
In a more personal level, we negotiate with people everyday. With our co-workers, families, customers and most importantly, ourselves. I renegotiated an agreement with myself about the risks and benefits of taking certain medicine that had been prescribed but which I had resisted taking. One side of me argued that I was more sexually energized, the meds were probably little better than placebos, and I was never intended to take them all of my life. The other side of said that at least 6 of my Early warning signs from my Wellness Recovery Action Plan had appeared and how could I help people develop these plans while not adhering to my own. My other side won out, although I told myself it was only temporary.
In retrospect I probably should have negotiated with myself a lot more often. It’s a form of impulse control or cognitive behavior therapy. Yesterday I negotiated with myself over the benefits of smashing my cell phone because it kept correcting my foul language. I was able to use some swearing so I was satisfied. And therefore my friend did not need to replay, “fuck off, Kenyatta you fucking asshole” or something similar. It depends on what kind of Irish temper she was able to negotiate.