Meddle, Mitigate and Mediate … What’s the Difference?
What a mouthful! These three actions are all unique in their own way. What makes the lines blurred are variated perspectives. All three can be misinterpreted due to motive and the nature of relationships.Some argue that they are all the same but there are thin lines between them all. Thanks to Google, we can dive right in with the definitions.
Meddle –to interest oneself in what is not one’s concern, interfere without right
Mitigate – to make less severe, serious, or painful
Mediate – intervene between people in a dispute in order to bring about an agreement or reconciliation.
One is proactive and the other two are reactive. Have you guessed which ones belong in which category? Being proactive is the ability to have sight. To foresee a situation getting out of hand and desiring to do something about it before it manifests. Proactive people mitigate. They are strategic people who have a certain finesse. This person has foresight, is very observant and exercises logic.
People who are reactive are often meddlers and people who aim to assist after a situation has already taken place which is to mediate the problem. These individuals are often emotional creatures who respond with what they feel is right whether the approach, timing and words are appropriate. They love hard and show their support by jumping in the middle with ones well being in mind.
Parents, significant others, close friends or peers often tend to jump ahead of reason and aim to defend. During a heated war, argument or intense situation, our emotions, feelings and even ego all rise like a volcano or some of us are a calm as lake. Regardless of your stance its about your response. The first things to consider is the nature of the situation. Do I take a side or a stand? Its imperative to take a moment to consider your values and proceed with caution. One would have to exercise much wisdom and have some ability to resolve conflict with ease.
With taking a stand for what is right, it might put you in a diametrically opposed view from that one that you care for. Its imperative that we express care for others by being truthful and letting your moral compass take over. At this point, when a situation has already occurred it is best to figure out how to intervene and reconcile the issue. Consider if this is something you should be concerned with regardless of relation to the opposers, consider how your actions would trigger reactions and responses. Consider if your interference or will intensify the issue or bring some light and reason. If you can’t alleviate the situation and you don’t have influence over each side, then I would advise you to seek additional help. Professional help (in some cases) and to remain from getting in between. Sometimes environment has everything to do with the way in which you choose to intervene. Know your place, know the rules and/or procedures and act accordingly,
Let’s recap. Ask yourself, which of the three postures do I embody? Is this setting professional or casual? Am I being proactive or reactive? Will me getting involved alleviate the situation in any way or cause a greater complication? Do I have some level of authority? Will getting involved put me in danger? Do I have something of great value to impart or do I just love the sound of my own voice? Am I bringing about change or do I just like being involved? What is my relationship to those involved and will my response destroy or affirm it?
There are so many things to consider before you decide to get invovled. Whether your the Good Samaritan, Superhero , friend or just a concerned bystander. Get to know the fine lines between each posture and abide by what you believe to be the right thing.