SPEAK … By the Spirit™ with Erica A. Hawthorne
Resolve to Seek Win-Win Solutions
© 2011 Erica A. Hawthorne
December 2, 2011
If you ask me, I think I have a knack for coming up with rebuttals. When I was young, I’d treat most every “No” my mother doled out as an opportunity to re-think and refute (a “talent” that put me in timeout more often than I care to remember). So it’s no wonder when I got to high school I was immediately drawn to the Debate class and Forensics team. There, my ability to argue a point down to its barest essentials was highly rewarded.
In those settings I learned how an argument was presented; as a resolution: a topic that two sides would debate, one team would be set out to affirm the topic, while the other positioned itself to negate the issue. Teams would relish in finding a fact that would surely put the other team’s argument to rest, or better still, launch a well-placed quote into debate and render another person’s point mute.
Ah! It was the stuff that all great arguments are made of!
While many of us may not have joined a debate team, it is still easy for us to fall into a debate-filled approach when communicating or disagreeing with a loved one. We are prone to hold on to our respective “sides” and defend them at any cost.
When the other person questions our position, we may become defensive and more deeply entrenched in our point of view. We find ourselves locked into a verbal (and emotional) battle of wills, silently fearful that to relinquish even a little bit of our stand would mean undoing our very personal foundation.
We forget, that by the very act of choosing to be in relationship, we are, in fact, on the same “team”.
I once found myself in a full-out argument with someone I was dating over which water filter to buy of all things! I found that my argument over which filter would filter water the best had little to do with deep research or studies that showed why this or that brand was more effective. It, in fact, had everything to do with me believing that somehow my opinion being accepted or negated was tied into my very value and self-importance. (more…)