I get worked up about some ridiculous things sometimes. Ask my wife. It’s typically in the evening right as she’s about to fall asleep. Admittedly, really poor timing ending in frustration and me having to eat crow as a bedtime snack. I’m slowly learning the art of the apology…slowly. I’ve tried protesting her fatigue in order to be heard, to have her conform to my timing and the way I’m wired. This is not a strategy I’d suggest.
Slowly, I’m asking the following questions not just for my marriage, but for everyday life:
How do I better engage in conversation (timing, tone, posture, etc) that results in both of us honoring one another and being constructively engaged in the discussion?
How can I remain calm and carry myself in a way that rests in tension, is at home in paradox and honors the uniqueness of the person in front of me?
I ran across the following quote by Brian Zahnd. Admittedly, I’ve just received one of his books and am not sure of his perspective, but I think this quote has much to offer:
“Our task is not to protest the world into a certain moral conformity, but to attract the world to the saving beauty of Christ.” – Brian Zahnd
We miss the person in front of us when we’re too caught up in getting our perspective across. The more and more we advocate our position when facing resistance the more polarizing we become. This applies in marriage, family, work, religion, politics or any aspect of our lives.
What if I can learn to slow down and genuinely inquire of others when meeting resistance?
Would it change the result? Maybe not.
Would I have a better chance of being heard? Likely.
Would it change the conversation? Definitely.