Monday, July 18, 2016

Fight or Flight?

Something I have learned...I hope anyway...after years of upset, is a better ability to assess situations requiring a response from me of either standing up to someone else, debating, researching, making every attempt to explain my point of view, or else of realizing/discerning the other person is not prepared to hear me out no matter how well rehearsed and knowledgable I may be about whatever the issue is.

It has taken a lifetime for me to truly understand that no matter how well I can make a case for or against something, if my listener is not actually hearing me, I have wasted my own time and theirs as well.

Figuring out who to trust to HEAR when there are differences of opinions between myself and others is not always easy. Sometimes I still make mistakes. However, I am "getting" how important it is not to waste time and energy on explanations, no matter how coherent, on those who are not at all prepared to hear me out. 

It has slowly been getting easier to discern whose minds are all ready made up and closed off about many matters and there is an amazing freedom that comes from knowing who those people are and refusing to engage in any further conversation about an issue where there will be no meeting of the minds, no welcoming of a mutual hearing spirit, only the strong possibility of a broken relationship that didn't need to be broken if we both just admitted to not being able to change our minds about whatever the issue is.  If we can stop the conversation at an admission of hurt that the other person is not on the same wave length  only then, perhaps, in time, can we begin the discussion about the issue again...and then only if both people are willing to try harder to understand each other's points of view and each other's hurts at being misunderstood.  If someone is particularly passionate about an issue and feels they have a good backing of knowledge to support that point of view, it is often nearly impossible to understand how someone on the other side of the debate could be just as wounded over not being heard and understood.  The feelings get in the way of a rational discussion and until they are dealt with there is no point in further talk about the upsetting issue.

I think the principles of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are good ones that should be used in all manner of divisive issues between people.

Even if the end result is  a "divorce" between two friends or between groups, it is only right that everyone involved know exactly why it is happening.  It is not right in any separation situation to simply walk away without the other party knowing where the hurts originated.

1 comment:

chris e. said...

Kudos on your insight!