Sunday, February 07, 2010

Your Reaction Matters

How do you respond when you are accused of something you didn't do? Do you try to respond calmly, figure out the facts and then provide light on the situation? Do you jump right in, proclaiming your innocence and letting everyone know how offended you are that they even dreamed you might have done anything wrong? If you don't do the latter, do others think you do that?

I would have to admit I have been guilty of the second choice far more often than I would like. in fact, it is one of the things I have to watch myself closely with when my wife is talking with me. It is far too easy to be offended and kill a relationship than to risk being wrong and keeping things much better.

Sometimes I find that I really was right, the other individual just understood. Sometimes they come around and see that, sometimes they don't. Either way, a calm reaction leaves a much better taste in everyone's mouth.

Sometimes I find out that I really was wrong. I may have misunderstood what they were saying at first, something that can happen because I normally will admit when I am wrong. Being right in this case, by admitting I was wrong, is more important to me than trying to cover it up.

No matter what, a calm reaction is much more likely to produce a good response in others. Reacting harshly, whatever the method (anger, sarcasm, something else), is more likely to produce much more trouble than the whole situation was worth.

It also makes others think you really were guilty. "Methinks he doth protest too much" comes to mind!


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