We can be going about our day and come into a conversation to have the other person speak to us in a tone that doesn’t sound kind. Maybe they sound like they are arguing or irritated. Our initial thought can be “what in the world is your problem”, or we just respond back with same tone and inflection. Which inevitably gets a response from the other person.
In a sense, we started a conversation thinking nothing big of it. The tonality of the person we spoke to gave us the thought something was wrong, and we needed to be on defense. We felt protective, or defensive, maybe confused. This feeling leads to harsh tones, maybe raised voices, accusations, looking for evidence to support our perspective. In short, an argument.
This happens so often in all aspects in life, from teenagers, to spouses, or someone at work.
If we are able to take a moment to take a step back. Realize we have no idea what the person is thinking and feeling. We are not responsible for the other person thoughts. We are 100% responsible for how we show up in this conversation. We may get to a clear understanding to the other person’s response to begin with. If we are open to being flexible in our thinking, no one needs to win. You will most likely get to the results you desire sooner by not mimicking the stress response you first witnessed.
Easy to say. Putting this into place in life can take practice. Diving into your thoughts in the moment can be work. However, as with all the work we do together, it’s worth it.