I’m in a situation where I believe cohesiveness would be both sensible and desirable, in a “house divided against itself cannot stand” sense. The other parties, however, don’t see this. This is partly from a lack of perspective and partly due to their own immediate wants.
I’m not a very assertive person and I worry that any attempt I make to communicate this will come across badly; potentially so badly as to only increase the division. I have tried being non-defensive; I’ve tried justifying my position with evidence (which I have, whereas their position is more emotionally-based); and I’ve tried encouraging patience. None of which has been very successful.
To be clear, this isn’t (I think) about compromise. It’s more about respect. As I say, there is information asymmetry: I’ve listened to them and they don’t recognise the complexities of the situation, despite me trying to explain. Ultimately we all want the same outcome, but without them trusting my judgement, it will cause division and push the resolution of that outcome ever further away.
How can I assert cohesion without creating a rift? Better yet, how can I assert this position in such a way as to rally everyone together?
EDIT I'm being abstract as I assumed that would be more helpful to others, rather than just helping me; I'm also loathe to reveal personal information on the Internet and abstraction helps anonymise that. Nonetheless, to address the comments, let me give a few more specifics:
- This is an issue between family members; let's call them Group A and Group B.
- I am a member of both groups; indeed, the only member. (For clarity's sake, whenever I mention either group from now on, I mean it excluding myself, unless stated otherwise.)
- I reside with Group B and, as such, am privy to privileged information that should not be shared. This information can explain Group B's position (discussed later).
- Group A has a proclivity towards making assumptions, jumping to conclusions and passive aggression (e.g., guilt tripping, sarcasm, etc.); Group B is much more objective and direct, but quick to anger in the extreme (I cannot overstate this).
- I am more like Group A, but living with Group B has made me aware of Group A's "foibles". I try my best to avoid these, but can still sometimes be assuming and defensive; I rarely get angry and I do not respond well (becoming submissive) to others' anger, direct or otherwise.
- Group A wants more contact with Group B (me, in particular); Group B (excluding me) wants zero contact with Group A. Group B's reasons for this are partly justifiable; I am only involved insofar as I'm stuck in the middle. As such, I cannot satisfy Group A's request without angering Group B and thus compromising my own immediate needs (i.e., peace).
- Group A cannot understand this situation, despite me giving as much information as is appropriate (i.e., without over-sharing). To be clear, I do not like this situation -- I wish for contact with Group A -- but believe the stalemate to be the "least bad option" for the time being.
- Group A is starting to exercise those "foibles" and getting pushy. My fear is that this will cause division: I am clearly not being listened to and, without the skills to negotiate this effectively, I worry it will spiral out of control and cause a split between Group A and myself.
- I'm not sure what the solution is to Group A's (and my) needs. My situation with Group B is not good, but it is stable and that's about as much as I can hope for. I know what will make the situation worse, however, and I'm keen to avoid that.