It’s Day 44 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and as despite the fact that it very well may signal the end of a relationship, I’m disengaging from dysfunctional discourse with someone. All of my life, I’ve tried to be a person who avoids conflict. Most of time that manifests itself in me not voicing my feelings or opinions because they differed from those of others. And I don’t really mind doing that with an inconsequential choice or topic. It really didn’t matter to me what game we cousins played as children, so I let them pick. I like most foods, so I’m usually up for the whatever restaurant whoever I’m with prefers. More often than not, I don’t have a dog in the fight of the moment. Sometimes, however, when the stakes are high –– when it’s a crucial conversation –– I’m compelled to have a discussion, debate or even a mild disagreement (Though these all start with D, I don’t consider them to be Ds as in the challenges women face). When the stakes are high, I attempt to keep the goal of a crucial conversation –– to preserve the relationship –– in mind. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m perfect at it. But am I intentional about it? I can say Yes with assurance. So when I’m doing my best to use the tools in my belt –– Using “I” Statements, Active Listening, Positive Sentiment Override, etc. and the other individual is aggressive, argumentative and downright argumentative, as I’ve gotten older and hopefully grown in all the life domains, I consistently find myself disengaging from dysfunctional discourse.
The recent pounding I took from an individual about one of the above items not being an unplanned expense reminded me that not everyone has as many tools in their belt. If they’ve only got a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That’s not a judgment call or superiority on my part. It’s actually pity that even people –– me included –– who love the Lord and may even love the person with whom they’re embroiled in conflict –– are so intent on making their point that it becomes more important than the person and maintaining the relationship.
For now, I’m choosing to press pause on this one. Prayerfully, the person will be receptive to learning about other tools they can add to their belt. Until that happens, I’m dis-engaging from the dysfunctional discourse and lifting the person up in prayer while I continue working on my own communication skills. By doing so, I’m minimizing the communication barrier and maximizing beauty and my best life. I pray you’ll bePink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about adding communication tools to your repertoire as well. If you do, you can minimize communication barriers and live your best life, too.
It’s Day 11 of being back to blogging and its recurring theme could have been “The Trouble with Triangulation x Three “. First, listening to my favorite Christian radio morning show hosts, Brandt and Sherry, on the commute in, Brandt asked her if she’d ever noticed two people arguing on social media and considered jumping in and telling them to stop having a go at each other. He went on to say that would break up the argument because they would both turn on her! Sherry laughed her infectious laugh and answered that she hadn’t intervened that way, however, she shared how she’d private messaged them and suggested they deal with the situation 1:1 vs. publicly. The segment ended humorously, but the message about the trouble with triangulation is a serious one.
Once at work, I encountered my second instance of triangulation when I spoke with someone who needed transportation. It was an unusually hectic day and while I didn’t mind taking the time to make the arrangements, it wasn’t time I had to spare. We agreed that they’d contact me when they were ready to be picked up. When I didn’t hear back from her, I learned that a third party had secured a ride for her! Neither she nor the woman I’d been trying to help thought to inform me that she no longer needed my assistance. This triangulation resulted in a waste of time and a breakdown in communication.
Finally, this evening I witnessed my fifteen-year-old daughter, Liv, get caught up in a triangulation web. One of her high school friends moved to another city but is still dating her boyfriend who’s in classes with my daughter. Apparently not only did the guy cheat on her several times while she was here, now he manages to prevent her from even talking to any boys at her new school while he flirts with whoever he likes in front of my daughter. In her attempt to be a good friend, my daughter put her in the know. Now she’s caught in the middle of their long distance dating disaster. I cautioned her to try to stay out of it because if and when her bestie takes him back, she won’t want to hear a word about his poor behavior, which will put a strain on their friendship. Triangulation collateral damage.
Knowing how God works in my life, the fact that God let me be a part of three different scenarios regarding triangulation means He’s trying to teach me something. Disputes, discussions, dating and so many other things are best handled 1:1. I’m going to try to put this principle into practice in my personal and professional life…And I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, do the same, and avoid the trouble with triangulation, too.