Ever have one of those conversations where it seems like the more you try to explain, the more confusing it gets?
“No, that’s not what I meant.”
“See, you’re not hearing me.”
“I never even said that!”
“Wait, let me start over.”
You know, there comes a time when you realize and have to accept that your explanation only serves to further frustrate the person to whom you’re talking. For the most part, I try to avoid those moments whenever possible. The good news is that my wife and I are usually very good communicators. We talk A LOT. And that truly helps mitigate any potential misunderstandings. The bad news is that even under the best circumstances, confusion will sometimes still manage to creep in unaware and I have to step back, see it for what it is, and just laugh. See, I’ve realized that I have to make a very serious decision once a discussion arrives at the intersection of confusion and frustration.
At this point, I find that it’s better to re-evaluate the wisdom of pushing ahead and risking hurt feelings or anger. Besides, the love I have for my wife outweighs any selfish need to win a debate. In those moments I ask myself a simple question: Why?
Why am I doing this?
What exactly am I trying to prove?
Emotions can sometimes cloud the thought process. So I have to first understand and be clear about the purpose of what I’m saying, for myself. Once I determine why I’m having a particular discussion, it becomes a whole lot easier to convey my point without emotional distraction. Meaning, I cease trying to hammer my wife down with my perspective or somehow convince her I’m right by aggression or volume. I can put my ego and pride aside and either diffuse the situation or let it go altogether.
This works for online conversations as well. Just sayin’… 😉