Assumptions of IntentI used to often ‘know’ what the other person was doing. And it was usually something I could either hate or patronize. I have realized that no one is intentionally acting in any way “wrong”. They have their own intentions and understandings and they live their own realities with their unique challenges that help them decide what is “best” for them. My accusations of ill intent only angered them and no one ever agreed for the simple reason that they were not intending anything ‘bad’. So I used to insist on the truth as I saw it, and they used to make ‘false’ accusations of me, that were their experience of me, and things got ugly fast. Agreement was out of the question. I have made great efforts to stop stating anyone’s intentions except my own, which are the only ones I can claim for sure. Instead, I describe the action and how it impacts me. “You want to cheat me” becomes “Your doing this is not working for me or is hurting me, etc.”. That invites a collaboration into how the situation could be more functional, rather than the other person getting busy defending his honor from slander.
Understanding angerI am not saying anger is right or wrong. It is. However, there are two important things about it.
- Anger is a facade to cover a fear: It serves to cover vulnerability from being touched.
- Anger is a weapon: It hurts. Whoever says, “I don’t mean to hurt you, but….” and gets angry is flat out lying. For whatever reason. In retaliation, in domination,….