Have you ever found yourself all fired up about something and just waiting for your opportunity to tell someone what you think? You have been thinking about it all day. If we are honest about it the enemy has been feeding us about it all day. We have added details that have no foundation in fact, but they seem real enough while we are contemplating them. I know this happens in relationships because I have been guilty on occasion of allowing my passion about a particular situation or circumstance to get my motor running. If we are honest I am sure we have all been that person or in that position. No matter how much you tried to control the attitude or the thought, your passion about the topic and your enemy continued to send you forward.
Now put yourself on the receiving end. You are the person that has been at work all day or asleep all night and you begin communication with a friend, spouse, co-worker or significant other and for no reason that you are aware of they let you have it. That person has been thinking about what they wanted to say to you right, wrong or otherwise and you are a victim of their attitude, passion, upset or anger. What they are saying may even be correct, but you are not prepared for the argument. You did not expect it, honestly it caught you totally off guard. You are an unarmed opponent.
If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of that type of communication, whether it is deserved or not there is a scripture from Proverbs that is full of wisdom. The scripture from Proverbs 15:1 says, a gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
What did I learn from these words of wisdom? When the other person is going off is not your time to fight. It is not the time to defend yourself and it is not the time to argue your point. They will not hear you any way. The bible says that a gentle answer turns away wrath. That means a gentle answer will calm the situation. If your pride is not in control and you would rather be reconciled than to be right back off and give a gentle answer. If fighting is not your claim to fame and you do not want to get involved in another useless argument, give a gentle answer and live to fight another day. Unless you just want to fight you are not ready for the battle. Your opponent has had a good deal of time to decide what they would say and also to anticipate your responses (as wrong as they might be) and their rebuttals. Your gentle word will take the fight out of the situation. If it is really something that needs to be discussed you can come back to it later when both individuals are calm, cool and collected and able to hear what the other person is saying. No one wins when everyone is arguing and in our relationships it is not about winning or losing it is about resolving our issues together in a way that causes us to be stronger in our relationship and as individuals.
Be aware that if they are like me, they may think you are trying to shut down the argument. If there is any sanity in them and your answers are honest and sincere, they will be able to determine that and it will diffuse the situation. Well I am a very passionate woman and it worked on me.
I hope this is not too much information for you but speaking as the one that was passionate, I can honestly tell you I appreciated the gentle answer. I am grateful that what I thought, planned and expected to be a deal breaker argument ended in reconciliation and a stronger relationship. It is my hope that yours will also.
Be the bigger person and stop the argument, by sharing a gentle answer and deflecting the anger, instead of speaking a harsh word and causing tempers to flare. Most of the time when you are drawn into an argument you end up saying things that you have not thought out and having a need to apologize later. Shut it down before it gets started by speaking a gentle word. Yes, sometimes that is difficult because passionate people will not always back off, but try it any way.
1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.