Why does that particular thing make me angry? Am I totally in the right to speak up about it? What’s the most effective way to speak up about it? Recently I listened to a Ted Talk in which a psychotherapist stated being diplomatic is essentially putting lying into practice, that diplomacy is in fact the cause of war, not the cure. Scale back the definition of war for just a second — think of war, not in global terms, but as the opposite of daily peace. What if biting my tongue when faced with a verbally abusive, uninformed, asshole right out in public daylight is the wrong move? What if the correct self-check is not to remain quiet, but just give a thoughtful, non-combative response?
I’ve been called rude by a lot of people through the years. Generally that name calling has come on the heels of me stating out right, “you’re not going to speak to me that way. Let’s take a minute to figure out what the real problem is.”
This is rude.
I maintain that it would be rude, ignorant, and doing real harm if I allow a person to believe they can behave abusively just because they’re having a shitty day. Humans are emotional animals. Quite often we get caught up in our emotions, act on them, then the recipient of that action does the same, and so on, and so on. Who’s left to burrow down to the origin of the problem and figure out what actually happened? Who’s even got time for that kind of work.