What Are We Fighting For? Part 3: You Can Be Right Without Being An @$$.

Would you rather be right? Or kind?

Photo by  Spencer Watson  on  Unsplash

Well guess what. You don’t have to choose. In fact, please don’t choose.

If you are right, you have every reason to be kind. And if you aren’t, you have even more reason to be kind! Sometimes it’s hard, but we can express our beliefs without being an @$$. Of course, all saw some online friends who forgot that a few days ago, so this is a good time to remember how to not lose our tempers when the world doesn’t appreciate our amazing viewpoints.

When we value ideals or self-protection over the basic dignity of other human beings, we create a scary, polarized environment. Once we start spiraling into gross battles of wits that prevent us from having meaningful discussions that could help us

Please tell me you see the irony of someone believing they’re taking the “moral high road” while completely disregarding another person’s humanity. That is the opposite of taking the high road.

You can feel 100% right about where you stand on an issue without being mean-spirited. What good are convictions if you are tearing apart someone else' to stay true to those convictions? When we lost sight of one another’s human dignity, oppression is the natural outcome. Even in a marriage. Others’ feelings matter just as much as yours.

All humanity is all connected. We can’t forget this. Fighting FOR each other means accepting the reality that hurting someone else hurts us all. We are setting an atmosphere with the way we communicate in our homes, communities and organizations. That atmosphere creates a culture. And no one

Being an ass even hurts the ass. We are created for connection and love, not alienation. And being an ass alienates you. You’re not alienating yourself on purpose, but that’s what happens when we send people into self-protection mode. Sabotaging any relationship doesn’t serve the world. whether it’s your immediate family, coworkers, people you interact with in public, or on social media.

You can be angry, offended and even disgusted with someone and never resort to being self, cruel or destructive. (You. Absolutely. Can.) The way you speak to others matters. Your words can speak life into others or suck the life out of them. The way you communicate can either heal or hinder your relationships, so it’s important to use caution and telling the truth kindly, even when there is disagreement. ESPECIALLY when there’s disagreement.

If you’re tempted to lash out at someone who doesn’t share your worldview, hit pause before responding and dig a little deeper. Interrupt your default response and reflect on what could be lying underneath your reaction.

Below are examples of some reflection questions we might ask ourselves when are tempted to respond like an ass. And please know the reason we came up with these questions because we have totally responded like an ass and wished we’d asked ourselves these things. But o

Our world is hurting too badly to think we can say whatever we want without considering the consequences of creating a culture of hate. The more bridges we can build with one another, the stronger the world becomes. The world needs us to do better.

If you’re tempted to be an ass, ask yourself:

  1. Why is it so important to me to be right? What if I’ve got it all wrong? Would that be the end of the world?

  2. Is fear fueling my frustration? If so, what am I afraid of?

  3. In what ways could my desire to prove my point be alienating myself or others?

  4. Do I feel like the others’ feelings or beliefs are less valid than mine? Or more valid than mine? If there’s an imbalance there, why don’t I consider myself equal with others?

  5. What do I expect from ____(fill in the blank) that I’m not getting?

  6. Am I fighting for genuine understanding, or is it really validation I’m looking for?

  7. What would a loving, humble response look like?

  8. Is there any good reason not to choose the loving response over the reactive, angry response I initially considered?

  9. What benefit or drawbacks would there be to refraining from any response? Would that be an unhealthy avoidance of a situation? Could an apology or clarifying conversation be helpful? Or would a non-response actually be the wisest decision?

We don’t get to undo the hurt we cause each other. Sure, we can forgive, but we can’t forget. Hurting others doesn’t undo our own hurts. So let’s keep trying to communicate authentically without causing each other more harm. If there are people who deserve an apology, that would be a great place to begin.

Emily SutherlandComment