Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Teaching Moment: You have the right to be silent
So we began last night with a weekly family goal.

It was my turn.

Goal: Elevate our conversation with everyone we come in contact with.

This means that if people are conversing about TOPICS that are contentious, debased, rude, gossipy, degrading, dishonest, demanding, disrespectful, annoying, critical, etc.

And you have tried to change the subject, or tried to incorporate politeness, compassion, understanding, fairness, calmness, optimism, etc. with no luck

then you have the right to be silent.

And walk away.


Many people feel like they are required to continue conversing with exasperating people. (Including me)

No.

No.

No.


Have you ever felt locked into a conversation that you didn't want to have?

Have you ever been with people who you feel always bring you down, stomp on your dreams, criticize you, only want to discuss debased topics, only want to tell you what you are doing wrong, overly critical, don't listen to your point of view, have never ending demands on you, can only say negative things about others and you, can only see the bad in their life, never have anything good to say, are always negative, complaining, demanding, rude, or their mind is in the gutter, or they rejoice/ brag about how great they are or alternatively about deception, dishonesty, doing things that are illegal, past wrongs, future wrongs, or who refuse to help and support others, are inconsiderate, refuse to have any redeeming qualities, refuse to work hard, help out, etc. etc. ?

My kids had lots of examples of these types of people in their life and at their school.

This is not to say that we need to be Pollyanna, nor does it mean that we shouldn't be upset or angry at times, and it certainly doesn't mean we shouldn't listen to others that are upset or genuinely sad about something. It just means that if you can feel the conversation pulling you down, making you feel uncomfortable, you don't have to continue talking to them.

I have encountered quite a few of these types of people in blogland and on forums. Thankfully, they are not in the majority, but I need to learn this lesson too. It is O.K. for me to be silent and walk away.

How about you?

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2 Comments:
Blogger Maggie said...
I totally agree. There's a point where you can see that there's no reason to be had. There's even a point where you know the other person wouldn't accept "agreeing to disagree." You absolutely have the right to remain silent.

Blogger Rachael said...
I've heard the story of the pastor that challenged his congregation to abstain from complaining (of any sort) for a whole month. Apparently many had a hard time with it. I've thought about taking that challenge myself. In fact, every time I start to complain about something, that story pops in my mind and (usually) shuts me right up. Why should that be so hard?

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