Slowing down a charging bull is tough to do. When peoples’ paces don’t match up in life, it can be a play for disaster to just let people be people. Learning how to deal with others, yourself respectfully. — BadWitch
Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — I was sent to sensitivity training. Why are some people so overly sensitive, and isn’t my freedom of speech being infringed on too? — War of Words
Dear War of Words,
All humans think the world is actually as they see it. If only that were true, theoretically, there’d be no disagreements. How boring and uninspired! In our Automatic Stress Reaction (ASR) types quiz, as you describe your recent circusmstances, you’re most likely a primary Fight type. You are straightforward and just want to be heard for your thoughts and contributions. Sometimes other people are overly sensitive to your eyes, but keep in mind you are a bully in theirs. This is human communications.
From your POV, when people’s oversensitivity requires a lot of hand holding, repeated explanations, or heavy politicking (i.e., political correctness of the personal as well as institutional type) just to have a conversation, Yikes2urMutha!, that drives you nuts. This either can pose challenge for you in explaining your point of view effectively without offending and hurting feelings — or that’s your trigger to bully and control more— either way, it only makes you want to yell louder, doesn’t it, Fight? Just because you have 350 hp car, you wouldn’t stomp on the gas up to a drive-thru window where someone who’s actually waiting to take an order from you waits. No matter our ASR type, we each have the power to do something about communication conflicts.
First things here. WOW, next time someone or something is starting to elicit that heart-pounding, neck-tensing, jaw clenching reaction out of you: stop. Just stop and breathe. Fight types can be impulsive so I beg you to suck in huge air, this slows your breathing wayyy down, then breathe evenly and deeply from your belly for a count of 5. Don’t think about anything but your own breathing for this horrifically long count of 5 (normally I’d ask for “10” but know that isn’t going to happen with an ASR types virgin Fight). Just let your body slow down your mind, then calmly ask the other person, “Could you explain what you mean to me more specifically?” or “Go ahead. You go first (to move out of each others’ way),” or otherwise diffuse your boiling hot instinct to reach out and shake someone by the shoulders.
WOW, life’s too short to be constantly nicking down your own ticker’s life span and quality of energy. We preseent deeper ways to deal with the different ASR types effectively, but as ever, getting a handle on your self — body, thoughts and emotions (especially) — is the primary thing, and the only thing any of us can actually control. As we always say in our Less Stress More Life program…
Respond don’t react,
Dear War of Words,
You went to sensitivity training, but still do not seem to understand the power of words. Words have the power to turn crowds into mobs. Words have the power to inflict wounds that can take years of therapy to heal. Politically correct speech is not meant to infringe on your freedom of speech. Just the opposite, politically correct speech offers you a broader vocabulary so you can say what you mean without injuring anyone else in the process.
Language is flexible. There are plenty of words to choose from that other people don’t find offensive or abusive. Pick another word. I mean do you really need to hear how words can have a horrible impact? Let’s see, the word “witch” was used to murder women who knew too much in the middle ages. Hitler used words to kill millions in the holocaust. Those “insignificant” words to you are considered slander by many others because those same words have been used to marginalize, objectify and, in many cases, violently oppress the group in question.
Look at history. Humans still use words to mark, objectify and kill women. Words were used to mark, objectify and kill Jews. Words used to mark, objectify and kill blacks. Words used to mark, objectify and kill gay people. Shall I go on? Do you think your ability to spout a few syllables when you can pick another word is more important than the wounds it opens?
Let me be clear, get a thesaurus. Broaden your language and get over feeling so self-important. Children who experience verbal abuse show the impact of those words throughout their lifetimes. The “n” word is still controversial because for some it brings up pictures of “strange fruit” hanging from trees in the South. The impact of words can be felt over generations. So, get back to sensitivity training. Watch the History Channel and get a better sense of how words can injure. Then, get over yourself. Lose the hate words. You’ll still have plenty of others to choose from. Expand your vocabulary. It will be appreciated.
Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.
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