COLLEGE PARK, MD –
An essential part of being the kind of person many of us want to be is to become gentler in our speech.
A common stumbling block to this is not grasping that others do not have the power to control our actions. It is, indeed, extremely difficult to be gentle with someone who attempts to control us.
Hard, not wrong
Controlling people usually try to control for some outcome they’d like to see come to fruition. Many times their controlling ways are the root of anger which leads to a lack of gentleness from us.
A way to speak the gentle words we’re asked to and to behave in the best way with people that may infuriate us, perhaps those closest to us, is to know we are not in charge of a particular outcome they may want from us.
No one can force us to do something we think is wrong.
We can be impelled to do something that is hard for us, but not something wrong.
Much of the anger that spews forth from us is probably because we think we have to listen to people that are telling us to do wrong for their desired outcome.
Be true, don’t win
Rather than listening against our better judgement, perhaps we can give a gentle word toward the truth and let the chips fall where they may.
That is harder to do when we believe our words must win, or that we must listen to someone else’s ‘winning’ word.
Words have no winners or losers – they have truth or lack thereof. Staying in the realm of gentility lies with being with truthful words, not winning ones.
Speaking the gentle truth allows us to speak in a becoming manner while also not requiring capitulation to manipulative, controlling, and/or narcissistic behavior.
I hope this strategy is helpful for all of us. Gently.
True not winning,