I’m not good at conflict. I hate it. I think I get this from my mother, but I’m not sure. The thing is that fighting and arguing makes me feel ill. I hate tension around me. So when two people I know started verbally sparring in a meeting the other day, I left. I left as quietly as I could, but I left and I think that made a statement, but I wasn’t trying to make a statement, I was just trying to get away from the tension and unpleasantness in that room.
Ordinarily I would have stayed. I would have been silent and unhappy, but I would have stayed. But my patience was at a bare minimum and I was afraid of what would happen if I stayed. I am often afraid of my own mouth. I have a temper. I try to keep it under control, for it is an ugly thing and I don’t want to spew ugliness. Plus, I have never found that I am helpful in these situations. I don’t diffuse the bomb as I’m trying, I always seem to cut the wrong wire. I try to be gentle, I try to be kind, I try to inject humor…none of that works. If I intervene it precipitates an explosion.
Maybe that is what is needed, an explosion to clear the air, but sometimes what you say you cannot take back. And who am I to instruct someone else on their behavior? I’m the last person who should do that.