Abort, Retry, Ignore?
Do you walk off, try to make them understand or look the other way?
Lets consider each option:
Breaking up on encountering simple disagreements might produce out of you a grumpy old man yelling "Get off my lawn!" or a bitchy hag with nine cats who the children are terrified of. This may not be in the interest of your long term happiness. Some times you may not even have an option of breaking up, like if you are the mother of a difficult teen.
What starts off as a constructive criticism can quickly escalate to a bitter fight and irreversible damage. This is more likely if you or the recipient of your criticism lacks the tact to contain disagreements and has the tendency to let things snowball. At the very least, it will ruin your day. You may think that your are only helping the person by trying to expand their perspective, but even if it works, it is usually a thankless job. There are few things as emotionally draining as a thankless job.
Ignore is what you do when you are inert. This could be your personality trait or this could have been forced upon you. One example of forced inertia is a bad marriage that has to continue for the sake of kids. A good guy with a bitchy wife and three young kids loads up on hamburgers and prays for a heart attack.
I think this strategy might work:
- Don't try to improve others (exceptions: kid / pet)
- Develop higher tolerance.
- Mention your point in a friendly manner - just once.
- Take a lot of time to commit.
- Walk off if hopeless.
And remember, preservation of sanity trumps pursuit of happiness.
I had disagreements with multiple people today, and I responded with 'Retry' each time, which only led to unpleasant results. Most people can deal with this instinctively, but I had to think it through. Writing helps me think without going in circles.
What do you think?