Over the weekend, I had a seemingly innocuous interaction with a kind person. It quickly, however, got heated.
I realized that even with the best intentions feelings can get hurt. When two people come together to engage in a genuine conversation it can lead to conflict and misunderstanding.
We know this is happening politically. We see it every day on the news. But why does it happen?
In talking with anyone from your spouse to a stranger, sometimes emotions get in the way. Everything becomes personal. Every issue triggers some experience we’ve had ourselves.
Deepak Chopra said once, “Anger is fear remembered.”
We’re all hot buttons ready to be pushed.
Sometimes we forget that the goal of interacting isn’t to be right or change minds, it’s to listen. It’s to connect. It’s to be present. It may be even to learn something new.
You don’t have to win every conversation. You don’t have to convince someone that your experience is valid. Everyone doesn’t have to know what happened in your specific situation. You don’t have to prove or justify anything. If we’re conscious of our intentions, we can actually build bridges instead of walls.
If the key is to do the former, then it doesn’t really matter who is right or wrong. Even though someone hasn’t walked in your shoes, doesn’t mean that what they’ve experienced doesn’t feel right to them. Even though you feel like what they’re saying is wrong that doesn’t mean they are. Sometimes are job is to swallow our ego and to hold their grief. Sometimes it’s about learning a new perspective.
There are definitely times when expressing how you genuinely feel is important. The question you need to ask yourself is what you’re hoping to gain.
Sometimes when we take a closer look, we realize we’re actually trying to change a person’s outlook. But if you’re MO is to change someone who doesn’t want to be changed, you’ll be unsuccessful. Instead try refocusing your energy and read one of our posts this week on how to let go of control and work on yourself.
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