The Web Sage
Copyright © 2002 by Joe Freeman. All rights reserved.
Is That You?
We have all been in a conversation with someone and they make a suggestion that we need to change our attitude or position on some subject. Naturally, our self-defense mechanism kicks in and we begin to dig our heels in and say something like – ‘that’s just the way I am’, or ‘that’s just me’. But is that you? Do you really believe that there is no way you could alter your perception of the event, your attitude or anything else about your personality? Are you so entrenched in yourself that you can’t (or won’t) improve in any area of your life?
No one likes to be told they need to improve something about their behavior, especially during the heat of an argument. I believe the comment is mostly meant too justify your current actions. However, saying that to yourself too often may indeed influence your thinking and cause you to be that way, even if those actions were not ‘you’ to begin with. This response could also be called a ‘cop out’ so that you do not have to deal with the emotions of the issue. Maybe you are just not comfortable dealing with your emotions and just don’t know what to do, or you are feeling challenged and this is your way of taking control of the situation.
So – how do you overcome this urge to ‘cop out’ or take control? ‘You’ must make a decision. Do your actions / words really indicate who you are and more importantly, are you proud of your actions / words? If you are not proud of the image you are portraying, it’s up to you to do something about it.
You can start by reviewing similar situations from your past. Ask yourself, how could I have handled that situation better?
- What could I have said differently?
- What tone of voice should I have used?
- Did I need more information before I responded?
- Did I attack before I listened?
- Did I show a lack respect for the other person?
Taking on this review task is asking a lot of you. In order to do this, you must be willing to recognize that you are not perfect and that you can and will try to improve in some of these areas of your behavior. Are you ready?
- Joe Freeman
The pain of dispute exceeds,
by much, its utility. All disputation makes the mind deaf, and when people are deaf I am dumb.
Conversation is an art
in which a man has
all mankind for competitors.
For good or ill,
your conversation is your advertisement.
Every time you open your mouth
you let men look into your mind.
Do they see it well clothed, neat, busineswise?