Give Me More Warning So I Can Put On the Kevlar before I open that next caustic attack…
Just as happens millions of times each day, I leisurely opened an email from an old friend. Words exploded off the page, like bullets they penetrated, and my immediate reaction was to flinch; too late. It was a direct hit.
Words hurt. They can cause far more damage than does shrapnel. And for every negative emotion spewed, it take at least 3-7 positives to repair the damage. No wonder so many relationships wane; apparently it’s just too much to ask that people keep their nasty moods and manipulative attempts to themselves, or that they take a moment to think about the impact of the energy they bring into any given situation.
Ultimately however, it is up to me to decide how to respond (as opposed to that knee jerk reaction that stems from the reptilian brain function as a fight or flee response to stimuli). Initially I considered the angry approach; lashing back with my truths. But there is no humanity in that sort of reaction, so instead I took a shower.
I can understand how each of us has learned our personal ways of communicating from our role models. God/Goddess knows, I have worked though a lot of my own issues, and continue on a daily basis to build on that budding self-awareness as a technique for not only survival, but also for personal and collective growth. My logical brain can even rationalize the bullets coming from the friend. Apparently he was hurt, and had something to say about those feelings. I also understand that he is making attempts to sabotage something because it is what he expects (you know that self-fulfilling prophecy thing). But then I have to go back and ask myself why I would feel impelled to make excuses for the rudeness of another despite how clearly I recognize the reasons; that’s clearly co-dependent behavior. And it’s not at all effective.
Wars get started over misplaced words. The globe is in turmoil because folks don’t know how to talk about their feeling. A little awareness goes a long way, and old habits can be altered with a bit of awareness and effort. It matters to our civilization’s survival. It (honest communication) really is that important.
When there is something that needs saying, it is best to use assertive, clear, and honest communication. There is no attacking necessary. I respond best, and I believe we all do, to non-threatening “I” messages: “I feel _____” is particularly effective in voicing one’s feelings. Starting a sentence with “You ______” tends to set up a defensive line against the opposition. When I hear “you” coming from the one with the problem, I immediately set up my guard. Unfortunately, with email, I didn’t see it coming.
At any rate, in the end, my friend gets to deal with his emotions, and with his passive-aggressive attempts at communication. And I get to deal with mine. It’s all perfect.
And just in case, I have come across a new invention that the ARMY is using. Kevlar underwear is the latest trend. I think I’ll get some for the next ass chewing….
~As always, with love, light, and still with gratitude.