Responding to Sharp Verbal or Written Exchanges
Texting: “When you get a minute, call me”.
Response text: “Why didn’t you just pick up the phone and call me; why did you resort to texting me?”
Background: “My cousin hadn’t called as she usually does and I was concerned that something was wrong, so I thought texting her first was better than calling. She’s always been difficult to get along with and I don’t want to upset her. What she wrote really bothers me. I just want to be treated like I treat others. How do I handle this? “
Sharp verbal or written responses upset half of the nation’s mostly women (60%) and a high minority of men (40%) who are by design, Feelers (heart-logic) deciders. Softhearted men and women often require encouragement in two things: making and sticking with cognitive decisions and then patiently practicing responding positively to unkind or thoughtless exchanges without crying or caving to balance their need for harmony and peace.
The other 50% of people, mostly men (60%) and the high minority of women (40%), are Thinkers (head-logic) who pay little mind to harshly spoken or written words because they do not need others’ approval, but rather prefer trust and respect. However, when apprised of this difference in Feelers’ legitimate tendency toward hurts, the majority of Thinkers are quite willing to soften their words. However, they may need reminders now and then, “I don’t need your criticism right now, but your approval.”
The majority (75%) of the nation, (Sensing) who prefer black and white facts and figures, hands-on physical involvement and dependable routine, are experiencing threatened security by the radical physical upsets caused by the pandemic. Therefore, the focus of this blog is especially directed to SF (Sensing/Feelers). Those with tender feelings and preference for no changes are clobbered with a double whammy. It’s apparent to me that they suffer Covid pandemic in a way that Intuitives do not, because the minority (25%) Intuitive segment of possibility thinking and ideas in problem-solving can actually escape current chaos much more easily because of their innate ability to board imaginary carpets, look way ahead and avoid setbacks. And, Intuitives are already used to regularly upsetting their own normal day’s schedule to chase a good idea toward an exciting new venture.
Mom/Dad: “Not going to school doesn’t excuse you from dressing, taking a shower and making your bed. Do you think we live in a barn?”
Response: “I didn’t ask to be born. You have no sympathy with how difficult remote school is and boring without my friends. Being stuck at home all the time is a drag.”
“Our lives aren’t the same, either. We miss our jobs and friends, too. But we have to work together.”
Background: This scenario is rampant in formerly very smooth-running homes because of the radical pandemic changes. Parents’ security in communicating with children of all ages is challenged as they stretch their understanding for positive ways to deal with uncommon mammoth problems of those working from home. Acknowledging a problem is 50% of the solution. Learn how to listen to each other’s complaints and respond nonoffensively without accusation.
Everyone’s nerves are on edge with the fear of the disease, restrictions, isolations, loss of loved ones and being unsure of the future when we can finally look back with assurance that the pandemic is over.
For encouragement across the board, the best ways to handle brusk responses is to remember: ‘what a person says or does reveals more about the speaker than you.’ I like to encourage those who are interested in maintaining pleasant relationships to learn to be kindly honest. As I’ve addressed in many former blogs and books that using ‘I’ statements are non-offensive and will calm situations more quickly than parental ‘you’ statements. Even adults bristle when addressed with the war words ‘you should, ought, must and need’ and the slang word ‘gotta’.
Be aware of your personality and appreciate the differing personalities of those you live and work with every day. Give Introverts time to speak, especially in the morning and give Extroverts time to finish. The Sensing crowd is more comfortable when today matches yesterday and making radical changes. Even in changing the lunch hour can disturb them, young or old. We are all called on to be respectful and gentle with our responses as we adjust to all kinds of unpleasant changes and restrictions.
We are all in this together and profit from putting ideas and innovations of the young and old together, learn all we can, steady and improve our situation. God is very aware of our circumstances and wants us to trust Him for wisdom, comfort, hope and solutions.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Ps. 16:11
Dear father, thank you for your dependable presence and provision of unshakable joy despite our troubles.
Next week will feature a teen-age guest blogger as she shares her wisdom and coping abilities.