I think that the number one reason that relationships fail is that we have not gotten a fundamental agreement on how we treat each other. One single agreement that can change everything. And that is that:
“Anger is understandable but not acceptable.”
Understandable because we are human and are fallible, but unacceptable because I don’t have to accept such behaviour and neither do you.
If you like someone else’s anger then I guess this agreement will not be for you, but for those that find people being angry with them or with others then this could be the key to dealing with such unacceptable behaviour.
*Warning: Those that do not want to be held to account for their anger will not like this idea, me thinks. Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin, for starters need not apply.
If we can agree to this simple premise that anger is understandable but not acceptable then we will have set up a simple accountable system or process that starts to allow us to monitor each other’s behaviour.
ie Keep tabs from our lowest levels of rhetoric, or anger, or aggression and finally violence.
I do believe that aggression and then violence starts out from the first signs of rhetoric and then anger. Learning to spot the signs of unacceptable rhetoric, is the key after our initial agreement.
Each level of anger can be monitored by each other and because of our agreement we can call the other to account at any point that we feel appropriate for us. If we allow our conversation to go too far then we have no one else to blame but ourselves after making such an agreement.
Rhetorical questions are the first indicators of this anger, I think.
“What makes you think…”
“Who do you think you are…”
“Why do you think you can say that…”
“When are you going to do that…”
“How do we solve the problem of Maria (or you)…”
“Where do you think you are going…”
Are just a few examples of these impressive but really unacceptable questions for me.
I would much rather hear what you think and why and then offer my response to your thoughts. So much more efficient in the scheme of things. Especially when we have two kids screaming, the grass needing to be mowed and the dinner needing to be prepared.
Less rhetoric and more getting to the point and solving the problem so that life can go on in one smooth motion. Worth a thought.
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