R&R

While my parents and I were on our way to what I must admit was the best dinner I’ve had this week, my mother recounted the argument she had with my brother over him getting a job. Aaron jus graduated and passed the bar exam, so yes, finding a job is imperative. He turned down 2 offers for his own reasons, and while I see my mother’s point of view, I can’t help but wonder if there is a better way to go about things instead of jumping headlong into a fight.

Someone please enlighten me why we get into these loud disagreements that only end in raised blood pressure and increased risk of getting a stroke? Would it not be far better to go about things with a more tactful approach? 

If my mother had simply sat him down and said, “I’m worried about your future. You’ve let two opportunities slip you by and I’m concerned that you’re not too sure where you’re headed. I feel left out when you don’t consult me before turning job offers down because it would be better to discuss it before making a decision, especially one that’s so important and lead could lead to regret in the future,” and then, discuss his next steps, she wouldn’t be upset and he wouldn’t be locked up in his room.

Believe me, listening to them argue is no fun.My brother is a lawyer (or will be), he knows how to choose his words correctly so they cut you in the right way. My mother is hormonal and overly sensitive sometimes, so everything is taken as though someone stabbed her repeatedly (then again, being a mother, every mean word is a deep cut through her soul). However, she knows better than to attack him. And he knows better than to bring out his own arsenal of cruel vocabulary. 

If they had just sat down to discuss things. Dr. Vagdevi Meunier, in an article for the June-July issue of Verily, stated that instead of criticising someone, it would best to change it to “I feel” statements. “I feel frustrated when you leave your laundry all over the place” instead of “You should pick up after yourself” sends two different messages. The minute you feel like you’re going to lose control and burst out into words you will later wish to take back, step out of the situation. I have found that last bit really hard. I personally bite my tongue when my parents berate me because it’s the “polite” thing to do. I try to keep mum, I don’t say anything except apologise. That’s not good either, is it? Keeping things in is wrong but so is letting everything spill out in a string of messy, emotionally laden sentences.

I truly wish that people would change that about themselves. Stop shouting immediately, take time and think of a better way to get your message across. Anger, when channeled wrongly, does nothing constructive. Instead of simply jumping the gun and jumping down the other person’s throat, we should learn to rephrase and redirect the way we say things. Why ruin your day or your social circle’s day by verbally punishing another person?

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