October 17, 2022
It’s been another long day at the office. You’re exhausted and ready to spend some quality time with your partner to heal your mind. But on entering your home a different atmosphere is present. You immediately realize your partner is upset—those rain clouds are moving in and your partner is about to unleash the thunder and lightning on you. And it begins. Subtle at first, then their voice gets louder as they become more upset until it’s outright yelling.
“Should I yell back?” You ask yourself. “Should I tell them they’re right and hope for the best that they’ll stop the onslaught?”
Instead, you remember to grab your umbrella when such events unfold. And what’s your umbrella? It’s your refusal to participate in the argument. It’s a fight without an opponent. As the adage goes, “it takes two to argue”.
As you remind yourself, “Silence” is your shield to protect both of you from harmful words – those Thunderbolts you each might throw at each other while the storm ensues. As Apostle Paul wrote, “Don’t have anything to do with foolish arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” You know that arguments are supposed to focus on an idea, but can quickly turn into quarrels – a criticism of another’s behavior.
And your goal is to address a problem and not how either of you is behaving while arguing. So, you listen intently to what is being said with the goal of identifying the problem, but remain silent until the storm passes. Once the storm passes, you approach your partner in kindness and attempt to address the problem peacefully. For you remember again Apostle Paul’s words, “And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone”.
(S) My partner and I are fighting more and more. How do we get out of this hole?
(T) “To bear trials with a calm mind robs misfortune of its strength and burden.” Seneca
“And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone”. Apostle Paul
(O) I decided to disengage once the other only saw their perspective.
(I) I realized I needed to remain silent until the storm passed but listen for what the problem might be.
(C) The character trait I improved was remaining calm and reserved.
When your partner is upset, don’t throw thunderbolts criticizing their behavior.
November 28, 2022
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