Tuesday, January 17, 2012

12 Changes For 2012 - #10 - Pick Your Battles

I'm passionate about many things. I'm quick to voice my opinion. And I will fight for what I believe. But not on EVERYTHING.

What does drama ever solve? Is yelling productive? How often do we spend more time arguing than we spend trying to fix the problem that caused the issue in the first place? And arguments spread like wildfire, rarely leaving anyone untouched. It isn't uncommon at my house for one person to start yelling, then the other yells back, and eventually we're all involved as I try to defuse the situation but nobody hears unless I'm yelling, too.

I do not believe all disagreements or differences of opinion need to result in knock-down drag-out conflict. Sometimes, it is far easier for everyone involved if we just shutup and do what we're asked, told, required, or needed to do.

We have to pick our battles. Find opportunities to defuse confrontations before they erupt. And we have to realize that relationships are built on supporting one another, not competing against one another. And this is true of personal, social, or work relationships.

I constantly gauge my daily encounters and interactions. If possible, I try to conserve my sanity by resolving problems with the least amount of drama and energy as possible. If I have to do some extra work or clean up somebody else's mess, so be it. But I know that nothing good will ever come from an explosive confrontation. Everyone's going to get wounded if we go to battle. And some wounds take longer to heal than others.

When is it acceptable to put on your gloves and deliver an old fashioned beatdown? That's entirely up to you. Everyone has different tolerances. But consider asking yourself: Is it worth it? And will arguing make this situation better, or worse?

If somebody has to take the moral high ground, it is going to be me. The alternative is more drama, more conflict, and ultimately less sanity for everyone involved. In the long run, that's never a sustainable solution.

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