“Always assume that comments from others are given with the best intentions. Respond to sarcasm with sincerity. It’s terribly hard to argue when the other party continues to offer to help fix any problems.”
It’s hard to understand why some people seem to enjoy creating arguments and sowing general discord. While you cannot control what other people say or do, you do have the choice to choose how you respond to their aggression.
I’ve noticed that every discourteous, spiteful or hateful exchange I’ve witnessed was controlled by the actions of the receiving party. The recipient of the message determined whether that exchange resulted in conflict.
- The receiver of any message is more powerful in an exchange than the sender of the original message.
If the recipient of the caustic remarks refuses to acknowledge the exchange as anything less than a standard communication, the exchange will result in no conflict.
- Conflict can only occur if the receiving party acknowledges and responds with aggression.
Sadly, avoiding conflict is not the same as avoiding aggression. You have no power over how others treat you. You have complete power, however, over the decision to not to return their actions with further hate and aggression of your own.
It’s okay to be upset with another person’s actions or about a situation, but it’s never okay to express that opinion in unkind words or actions toward others.
Keep your anger directed towards ideas like inequality or injustice and away from people. This will ensure that your energy is used productively to create solutions that will work with all people toward creating a stronger future together which corrects these greater social issues.