Week 15 – Open Up


Have you ever encountered those people who want to get a point across and they are insisting that you just accept their point, and when they see that you don’t accept their point, they get louder, they talk over you, and sometimes they even yell.  I find this a very difficult personality to deal with.

When talking about religion, when talking about politics, personal morals, beliefs, honestly, yelling at me does not mean you are right. I really suggest that people have facts; reasons why they believe something, and be willing to accept that not everyone agrees.  Isn’t that an epiphany. If everyone agreed there were not be 4 political parties in Canada.  Honestly, people are not all meant to think the same.  We all have different experiences different environments, we take things in differently and respond to things differently.  It is ok (as long as you are not hurting other people).

Part of communication is listening to other people; listening and trying to understand their point of view and what they are trying to say.  And also, questioning that and asking why. Why do you feel that way?  Why are you saying that?  What are the supporting facts that make you feel that way?  They might not have any.  They might just feel that way.  And that’s ok.

That also gives you the opportunity to say, here are the facts and reasons why I believe my point of view.  And isn’t that a much better way of convincing someone to come to your side, rather than yelling at them, and telling them that they’re wrong, and they’re stupid, and bullying them or ignoring them, or treating them like they are a horrible person because you don’t have the same beliefs?  That doesn’t convince me.  Would it convince you?  That is what causes conflict and hate.

If I said or did something 20 years ago, that was 20 years ago!!!!  I hope that I have had some growth over 20 years.  If you haven’t had any growth over 20 years and you are the same person, you are stagnant, and you need to open up and start communicating.  Listening to things, thinking, having opinions, making decisions, moving forward, making yourself better.  There is a lot of fear in trying to improve yourself; sometimes we just feel comfortable in who we are and we resist change.  This is who I am, this is what I do, this is what I think, and I got it all figured out.  We DON’T got it all figured out; especially at 20 years old.  We think we do, but at every age you are going to have a different level of understanding. You’ve had different experiences, new things have happened, technology the world events – things change.  I hope you change too.

I recall this one “discussion” I had with an atheist.  I am not an atheist, but I am not a religious person and I don’t necessarily believe in God as described in the bible.  I guess I align with ‘agnostic’.  This person talked over me, would not listen to me, and made assumptions about me, possibly because I sent my kids to Catholic school. He made some assumptions about who I was and what I thought.  First of all, God, Religion, the Bible and Spirituality are four separate topics with some crossovers.  No one is right, you have an opinion.  Yelling at me and talking over me does not make you right.  If someone else believes in God that is described in the bible, that is their choice; it does not mean they are stupid, it doesn’t make them awful.  If someone doesn’t believe in God, the same thing.  However, this atheist did assume; he didn’t even ask me what I thought, or allow me to express myself.

Assumptions, as per the old saying, make an ass out of you and me (Ass-u-me)! An assumption is a bias; when you assume something about someone, you are expressing your bias.  Just because I believe that all women should have the right to choose an abortion if they want one, does not mean that I would have one.  I sent my children to Catholic school.  Although I was actually baptized Catholic, I am not Catholic.  I do not practice the Catholic religion or rites, and I do not believe in God the way it is described in the bible.  I have my own beliefs and I have my own spirituality and I do not like to practice religion.

I think a lot of people want to be in control.  They want to be in control of people around them, of how people around them act, how people around them feel, and how people around them think.  Two prime roles that have a duty and are in a position of power that can play a part in controlling, are parents and leaders.  I have been both.  And in both positions, I think our primary duty is:  #1 – we have an obligation to show our children and the people who report to us the facts, and #2 – we have an obligation to teach them how to make decisions. Then they have an obligation to think, and to use their brain and to use their experiences, which are different than mine even if they are my children (they have different experiences), and to use their opinions to form a decision.

As a leader, you have an obligation to uphold the company’s direction.  So, if there are some things where you say this is the company’s direction, even if you think differently, you must abide by this direction, or you can choose to leave.

As a parent, you have an obligation to provide them with medical services, education, housing, food & water, and safety.  Those are the decisions you make for them.  Allow them to think, please.  I know so many people do not.

So many leaders have the attitude of ‘Just do it because I am the boss!’  Many parents have the perception of ‘I’m the parent; that’s why!’  You know, it is ok to answer your kids and give them a reason, and give them a reason why you think the way you do, and say, ‘For now, I am in charge of you, and we’re going to make the decisions based on how I feel.’ (I would still recommend getting their input.  Just sayin’.)

At times when we are in a situation where someone is getting in our face about something they don’t agree with us on, probably more often than not, the timing isn’t good, or the environment is not conducive for said discussion.  To have a good discussion may require a good length of time to cover all the items that you need to get your point across appropriately and fully.

Basically, you just have to shut them down and move on in those situations.  An approach could be, ‘You know what, I would love to talk about this further in a more appropriate setting.  Why don’t we plan to get together?’  Another way is just to say, ‘Well, I think we simply just don’t agree, and that’s ok not to agree. So, what else is new with you?’

Try to have your facts.  Try not to blow up and stoop to that person’s level.  But, I think in some cases, I have a few people who are consistently displaying this behaviour, so I may start talking over them and yelling at them to try and show them how it feels.  If that’s how they want to communication, perhaps that’s how I should communicate back.


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