Hey Friends, I was contemplating, how argumentative we have become across the globe. For some strange reason, this habit is propagated as a desirable life skill by many to find success on multiple fronts, especially if it helps them to build their pre-crafted narratives. To some extent, it’s true but do we need to learn it to the hilt ..?. This is the moot question, I have been thinking through for some time and this is what I have come to realise –

However deep our theoretical commitment to serenity, we are likely to encounter several extremely well-crafted invitations to lose our tempers badly.

Just to quote few examples – 

  1. Our partner will press a well-flagged nuclear button, thoughtlessly expressing their views on our mother or on our career choice(s). 
  2. At work, a colleague may deliberately not answer a very simple question to which we urgently need an answer. 
  3. A shop attendant may give us a bored, insolent shrug. Someone in the supermarket or at the airport may falsely accuse us of standing in the wrong line.

In such moments of blatant provocation, we get swallowed up in fears of humiliation, illogicality and injustice but often forget how much many people enjoy having arguments, indeed craving them to refine their equilibrium and appease their psychic discomforts. Realistically, we are tricked into imagining that there may be genuine issues that require our wholehearted engagement and thereby lose sight of the true psychological motivations at play. 

A person is trying to get us into an argument not because they have a sincere complaint against us but because they are feeling overwhelmed by the intensity of their aggression or temporary psychological discomfort, which they hope to placate by spoiling a portion of our lives. 

Remember by goading us into a battle/or in futile argument, they are looking for a way to evacuate their fury into us. They use us as a receptacle for their emotional waste, to employ a skirmish with us to distract themselves from their hard to control conflicts and muted sorrows, to seduce us into joining them in their sadness and entanglements, so that they might feel less alone and less bereft. We should resist such enthusiastic and subtly crafted invitations by recognising them for what they are and their unbearable feelings. We don’t in any way need to join them in their gladiatorial quests. 

What may at times provoke us to a particular pitch of excitement is a puzzlement as to – 

  • Why do others behave as they are?
  • Why on earth people are deliberately slow or rude or bad-tempered?
  • Why is someone who should be kind and thoughtful suddenly so off-hand and cruel?

It should be our wide-eyed quest for sensible answers that end up fanning our upheaval. I would say – We should answer our bafflement with far greater simplicity and therapeutic rigour. We should work out the clever game and refuse to play any further rounds of it irrespective of who is the invitee (i.e. our spouse, a stranger, our child or a colleague). 

It might suggest that we are not being kind by leaving them to it but in reality, there is so much more that needs our undivided attention. The key to success at such gladiatorial quests is to hold on to our thoughts and repair our hurt or momentary feelings or strong urges to respond just by thinking more logically coupled with enhanced awareness of such psychological forces at play on the human mind. 

The enhanced awareness and conscious intervention in times of sudden provocations will help us in dealing with such random bafflements. We will be able to sidestep many dragnets because we have so many other, truly more important things to do.

Take good care & enjoy reading a healthy dose of ‘Mindful Productivity & Cerebral Happiness’.


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Get in touch… — JOE’s LIFE SKILLS LAB/Joe Sehrawat

Image Credit – Photo by Budgeron Bach: https://www.pexels.com/photo/ethnic-couple-arguing-on-street-in-daytime-6532738/

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