The Written Word
I always read that the quickest way to have misunderstandings is either text, use messenger or post on Facebook because one can not discern the written word as well as you can when talking face to face with someone. And that is true. We can not see the nuances of facial expressions nor hear the tone of voice nor see if the person is hurt, angry, sad, upset and so our heads create that for us.
I remember a few years back fussing back and forth with someone texting. At that time, I could text fast and so could this person and I swear our phones were smoking and the dumb thing was….neither one of us was mad but fueled the other one by our texts that did not convey exactly what we were feeling.
One day I read this thing called “The Rules For Fighting” and in that was a list of things not to do when arguing with someone and the suggestions are really good ones as we all can resort to the wrong things without even realizing it. It said things like:
1. Do not use words like “you always”, “you never”, “every time” as no one always…no one never ever and no one does the same thing every time and it inflames things.
2. Take the “I” out of the argument. You know “I hate when you do this” type things instead use things like “when you do this, it makes me feel this way so that the problem is at hand and not an attack.
3. Keep it private…no third parties… as that causes alliances to be formed and then people feel ganged up on or betrayed.
4. Stick to the topic and focus on resolution.
5. No bringing up old problems …stick only to what the issue is at hand.
6. No silent treatment or ignoring the problem. It might avoid what you think is conflict but only makes it worse in the long run. Talk it out.
7. No biting …as in hurling insults at each other as all it means is the person insulted will feel compelled to hurl one back.
8. No blaming…just take responsibility for what each person did and work to fix it.
9. Always do it face to face so that you know what the other person actually means when they say things.
I thought these were great…and a great reminder to me…for we all have those moments where we end up arguing with someone who we care about greatly and it can seem that the other is not hearing and we find ourselves lapsing into things that are defense mechanisms but not good for having a “fair” fight.
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