Monday, January 23

Played an Intense Game of Verbal Tennis 1/23/12

Playing a Verbal Tennis Game 
With an Attorney

      A fascinating conversation with someone early Sunday was had by yours truly.  His face reddened and he raised his voice when I questioned him.  I tried mentioning something that made me uncomfortable on Friday night. He was there.

      His first volley in our dialog was intimidating.  Sarcasm, and vehement arguing was his next ploy.  But, I held my ground on the tennis court of our conversation.  Healthy principles and boundaries prevented me from slipping on the verbal playing court.  I made sure we stayed on topic, not swayed by the intensity of his response.

      When this fellow leaned into my space and raised his voice, I asked, "Are you getting agitated?  If so, we can talk another time."  I've learned it doesn't make sense to talk with someone when they're drunk.  I would be as foolish as them. Waiting for when we can talk coherently is preferred.  The same is true when confronted by a person who is emotionally intoxicated. 

      The question calmed him down.  His next move was recruiting someone else to join the fray.  That was fine.  It was fun; exercising adherence to my values and exercising my right as an adult to disagree. We also made progress.

       With the other person joining the fray, our conversation had me returning rallying shots from one player who was defensive and the intense questioning of the other, who was not, a doubles game with me not having a partner.  I had presence of mind, not reacting, but responding.  Being mindful during the verbal contest allowed me to be courteous while maintaining my integrity. 

      When he stated I was trying to make him do something, which was not my intention, I asked, "Can you tell me what I said that made you conclude that?" 

      He couldn't answer.  Exactly my point.  I never asked him to do anything. That was his assumption. 

      I told him, "I've learned to express my concerns and leave it at that. What a person chooses to do afterwards is their option." I'm not invested in how others respond.  (Courage to Change, p. 310)

     There is only one God and I am not Him.  I kept the focus on me, expressing my needs, trusting God for the results. 

How About You?
What are strategies do you use, when someone tries engaging you in an argument?

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Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.