Have you ever met someone who seems to be always on edge; ready to pounce on whomever rubs them the wrong way. It’s almost as if they seek any and every opportunity to argue. They wait for an offensive word or a tone of voice they don’t fancy and in their opinion an ill-spoken comment. I coin these persons as someone always looking for a fight. And then, we have those who are the exact opposite.
These persons have a knack for diffusing tense situations. They are by no means doormats or pushovers, it seems they’ve simply learned the art of speaking softly. Battles are chosen carefully, as are words.
I’ve been following a devotional study by Pastor Rick Warren on gentleness. In a couple of his teachings he talked about using a soft answer to turn away wrath or anger. The basis for his teaching is found in Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” NIV
He used the example of how when someone raises their voice at us, we raise ours back. Eventually you’ve got a tumultuous situation. Pastor Warren suggested as the other person becomes louder, we lower our voice and become quieter. Now that, my friends is easier said then done. However, I decided to give it a try one night at work. Just as I needed a something for a patient, I noticed someone from another department who could help me enter my area. When I approached her, she was curt and borderline rude. I kept my cool and refused to match her tone. By the time our conversation was over, we were laughing and she said she’d ensure I had what I needed and she wished me a good night.
I believe the challenge with speaking softly in the face of adversity is because we have an innate desire to defend ourselves. We want to let that person know, we don’t have to take their insults. But, do we really need to retaliate? What’s the worse that could happen if we don’t. Would it really matter at the end of the day, if the person bringing the offence sees us as defenseless? Now, let me pause here and say, I’m not speaking of bullies or abusers; that in and of itself is a different story. I’m by no means advocating allowing ourselves to be mistreated, so please understand.
That being said, I’m sure speaking softly in the face of rage may not always work. As I mentioned in the beginning, there are some who are hellbent on fighting, but as my mom so wisely taught me, they can’t argue by themselves. It wasn’t easy for me the night I used the art of speaking softly with the woman whose help I needed, however, I’m happy I did.
It’s my intention to master the art of speaking softly and with it the mindset of disregarding the opinions of the hotheaded toward me. As I mentioned in my previous blog, it’s been scientifically proven, those who reduce stress in their lives live fuller, richer and longer. And I purpose to do just that. I’d love for you to join me.
Savannah J. providing a place of tranquility away from the stress of life.
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