Accountability and Rhetorical Questions

DES said:    When you split up was  part of the reason was because you wanted
a 3 step apology? Well I do remember thinking that at the time you couldn’t even get a 1 step apology! So now what would you say about this in light of (our latest understanding) of Accountability?

Anonymous said:   “We didn’t have an agreed way to discuss and resolve stuff.”

To me, that is still a bit like saying the reason the plane crashed is because it fell out of the sky. In this context, I think you both did not have one of the 6A Framework agreements that me and you have. This one being Accountable, what it entails and how to address it when either of you fail.

That is, me and you have agreed how to “discuss and resolve stuff” by to splitting it into 6 parts, (3 for listening to the speaker and 3 for listening to the responder) and have the overall governing agreement that any anger during the process is understandable but not acceptable (hence back to accountability if anger occurs and the 6As help us to detect and moderate it).

So the 6A framework, to me, is about moderating/governing/measuring our levels of anger during a conversation and holding us accountable throughout the process, which in turn reduces anger on both sides.

For example if someone responds to a comment by saying:
“What makes you think a discussion about our relationship boundaries didn’t happen??” This, to me, feels like it is the beginning of anger by its rhetoric, yet without an agreement on accountability, I did not have the courage to address it.

Having an Accountable agreement which includes rhetoric, allows us to point out the rhetorical question and ask them to be more accountable in their delivery, using the agreed 3 As for responding.

ie. “Thanks for your question however it seems to me to be rhetorical. Can you put it in a way that that will encourage me to respond more constructively.”

See, this rhetorical approach is a villain here, as it tries to cloak or dress up our anger, expectations and resentment. What a more acceptable response (if I had of had the courage to discuss her rhetoric and get an agreement) would have been if she said:
“Des, I think that you are assuming that our boundaries were not discussed”

To me this is a much more up front and friendlier approach than “What makes you think….??” and could very well be one of the reason that her friend left. As without discussing and agreeing to this boundary of rhetoric and accountability in general during a conversation I think a conversation and the relationship it comes from are doomed to be compromised.

So the real villain here is, I think, that without having these agreements on how we hold each other’s anger to account, that what starts out as a spark, is enough to make us retreat from all attempts to communicate, out of fear of a full blown bushfire resulting.

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