Friday, June 5, 2009

Words: In Conflict

When I communicate through email, the letter I send is usually so much shorter than the original draft. Editing removes the unnecessary comments, the words that are motivated by hurt or frustration and the final draft is usually just what I need to say, without all the chaff. So when I talk or especially when I argue guess what comes out? Unnecessary comments, words motivated by hurt or frustration and chaff.

I've believed for a long time that if two people could just talk rationally about something, they could resolve it. Turns out that to get to that place of calmly talking can take minutes or hours or days. I hate the waiting, but worse is what happens if you don't take that time.

Marianne Moore said, "The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence." I hate conflict. Instead of trying to avoid it, I try to control it with words. The catch is that the words that have the power to calm and reconcile, are usually not the first that come to mind. Silence of breath, quiet of mind, the rest between a calm heartbeat is crucial in conflict.


mister e said...

This post is so true - it's all about the waiting period. Why is such a simple idea so hard to put into action? And I love your "things that might be obvious to most people but take me awhile to figure out" post label.

s i n c l a i r said...

You're lucky. Even email doesn't stop me from expression motivated by hurt, frustration and chaff. Instead, it is preserved in written form forever for the object of my wrath to pore over and analyze into our infinite electronic future. Thanks for something to think on, quietly.

Martha Elaine Belden said...

i so totally agree with you here. i'd much prefer to resolve some sort of comment through e-mail or a letter. mine always end up incredibly shorter than they begin. and when that doesn't work, i tend to say things i regret and must later take back.

i hate conflict, too. it's amazing how powerful those words can be... both to hurt and to heal.

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