I observed an argument between two people last week and with little effort, I remained calm and objective. This week I was the one in a disagreement and it wasn’t so easy to stay calm and neutral. I found myself getting angry that the other person was angry.
When someone uses feeling words to describe judgments and assumptions, it may sound like they are talking about their feelings, but they are actually talking about their negative, and often exaggerated thoughts. As a result, we feel judged and often misunderstood. We get angry that they’re angry.
In any relationship we can find ourselves upset or annoyed by another person’s behaviour. Often an open dialogue is enough to resolve our concerns. Sometimes however, our concerns are ignored or brushed off and we are left questioning our right to demand change.
Are you in an intense, passionate love affair with someone that’s bad for you but you can’t let go? Have you distanced yourself from a friend or family member because their roller-coaster relationship is exhausting and hard to watch? Why does a person insist they can’t live without someone who is clearly making them miserable?
I was in line one day at the airport when a woman arrived late and wasn’t permitted to board. She screamed obscenities at the West Jet representative, startling everyone within earshot. It’s rare to see this kind of verbal attack in public and between strangers; it usually happens at home and with people we love. Continue reading “How to Survive a Verbal Attack”