Ordinary communication – with the shoe repair person, the waiter, the salesperson at the mall – this should be simple. Shouldn’t it? But, have you ever done a little eavesdropping on some of those conversations that pass through your routine daily life? Ever notice the way some conflicts start?
Lately, I’ve been paying lots of attention to the chatter that goes on around me. I’ve watched as simple conversations escalate into white hot anger. And, I’ve also watched the skills of those people who are able to defuse the conflict and get their needs met without the words and body language of anger.
So – how does passion come into this? Passion, in this context, I’ve defined as an intense, singular focus on a particular point of interest or need. The man who has carved out exactly two hours in the day to get a minor repair done on his car – his passion is invested in getting the task done and moving on to the next one. But what is he to do when the mechanic is slow, when the part he needs isn’t in stock, when an additional fix is needed that will take more time?
One choice might be to let his passion get the best of him, demand (with all the related and angry body language) that the job be done now! This might even work. But, most likely, everyone leaves feeling angry and stressed.
Perhaps the better choice might be to take a breath or two and decide that there could just be some other ways to get the message across! That’s where reason comes in. Reason is the ability to do effective self-talk. The ability to step back and give yourself the message to stay cool. And the ability to yield to the common sense message you surely would be telling yourself if you weren’t feeling quite so angry and impatient!
See my next post for some tips on how you might be able to get your point across without that rise in blood pressure and without leaving that trail of steam behind you!