Behind “Unreasonable” Behavior

Have you ever wondered how someone could behave so unreasonably? What is the person really seeking? If you looked behind the “unreasonable” behavior, would you find anger, hurt, or disappointment?

When someone appears angry, hurt, or disappointed, it generally signifies an unmet need. Empathizing with the feeling helps discern the need – whether for autonomy, connection, meaning, peace, or physical well-being –  and opens the possibility for identifying and considering solutions.

Before labeling behavior as “unreasonable,” you may want to look again. The business owner who appears foolishly apprehensive about selling may initially reject because this family business represents the last sense of connection to a deceased parent. A spouse who refuses to consider terms of a marital termination agreement may need to express (and have acknowledged) the heartache of an extramarital affair or loss of a child. The key organizational member who suddenly scoffs at participating in long-term strategic planning may have just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

While it may be preferable to avoid talking feelings, feelings reveal important information. Demonstrating recognition with words such as, “it sounds like you feel really hurt or frustrated or…,” may begin to fulfill the wish for understanding. 

Taking time to honor calls to be heard, seen, and/or understood acknowledges the human being, worthy of dignity and respect, involved in each situation. Allowing space for this sharing may ultimately lead to a more constructive conversation and help create more lasting solutions. 

Mediation supports constructive conversations between people or groups in conflict. Conflict coaching empowers individuals to gain clarity and engage confidently and compassionately. 

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Sherry Ann Bruckner

Most widely known as Lonzo's human, mediator, speaker, and author Sherry Ann Bruckner works with leaders and organizations to create peace, resolve conflict, and transform visions into results.

From her twenty-plus years' experience practicing civil and family law, and her own personal experiences with silence and violence, Sherry Ann understands how much inner peace impacts outer peace. A graduate of Hamline University's College of Liberal Arts and William Mitchell College of Law, she also studied conflict resolution at Rothberg International School in Jerusalem. Sherry serves as a neutral on matters ranging from bias and employment discrimination to marriage dissolution and caring for aging parents. A speaker and trainer on the global stage, Sherry gives you and your audience practical skills and the confidence to use embrace your personal power to create peace. Through helping thousands of people navigate their way through conflict, and finding her own way to inner peace, she shares the transformational power of clarity, compassion, curiosity, and cribbage.

Visit to learn more or give her a call at (320) 808-3212.
Sherry Ann Bruckner

Be gentle with you. Be gentle with all. Be the peace.