The other day, I wandered across a post in a social media group that caught my attention. Like most posts on these platforms, it starts with someone sharing their perspective of an experience that they had. In most cases, they’re not really interested in hearing another perspective on their issue. Usually, validation and approval is what they’re seeking. They want to let others know, exactly, what they’re feeling. Their retelling of the experience might include little detail, which doesn’t give the onlookers much satisfaction. However, letting it all out or venting is the way (in my Mandalorian voice) in which these things work.
WE WANT THE FULL EXPERIENCE.
The readers wants all of the juicy details to decide on whether or not to fully invest time and energy into reading the post (and the comments). That post, in particular, just so happened to be one of those posts, that had the necessary elements to draw others into the fray. As I read the post, I asked a clarifying question to determine how clear I was in understanding the poster’s point of view. I didn’t want to assume that I had all of the information based on what I had read in front of me.
YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ASSUMING!!!
The issue with assuming that we know what the other person is thinking is a recipe for disaster, which leads to further disconnection and misunderstanding between those involved. In my opinion, it’s a lack of respect for the other person. I believe that we owe it to ourselves to put ourselves in a position of receiving what we need from the other person. It doesn’t mean that we have to agree. Simply, that we’re open to hearing their perspective. Hence, the clarifying question is bringing clarity and understanding into the mix. Ultimately, landing us in a position of alignment and improved connection.
Often it requires time to disrupt and interrupt the chaos created by disagreements in our relationships. A willingness to engage from a place of curiosity is important to building a bridge. Without this bridge, the flow of traffic is non existent. What happens when traffic is not moving?
It leads to anger, frustration, resentment, anxiety, etc. These feelings cause us to go into fight or flight mode. That’s right the stress response kicks in, which impacts the ability to communicate our feelings and needs with a level of reason. When reason goes out the door, you can forget about a reasonable resolution. If we’re not in tune with ourselves, we’ll continue to spiral out of control until we return to ourselves. If you struggle with staying caught in your emotions, listen to my podcast episode on releasing negative emotions.
As that energy subsides, we have the ability to return to listening for understanding, clarifying for understanding, and providing our point of view to bring about a resolution for the situation. At the end of the day, a resolution is the what we want. Working towards that resolution with a win-win in mind is the way for winning the arguments, which doesn’t fit the social media drama model. And, there’s nothing wrong with that!