In today’s society people think that it is a strength to “read people.” I used to be one of those people. If you looked at me wrong, said something to me that I perceived as wrong, or got smart with me then I would go off on you; to the point that you knew to never come for me again.
But that thought process has changed for me. With age and maturity, I realized that holding your tongue is a strength and not a weakness. I can recall when I first learned this lessons, someone called themselves going off on me in front of everyone. My response was to respond back in kindness. My friends were shocked. There were like
“I cannot believe that you let them talk to you like that, that is not like you, and you should have went off on her!”
But what would be the point of that. All you would have in two people arguing in public embarrassing themselves. When you respond aggressively to people who are aggressive to you, that is not called courage, it is not asserting yourself, it is not called anything but immaturity.
Look at all of the reality television shows were people get into arguments and then physical fights. Who has time for all of that? I know I do not want to be perceived as the “angry black woman.” There are many of those on television as it. I will not let that shape my reality on how I should behave or act. I feel that there is a line between constructive communication and destructive communication.
Destructive communication is where you escalate an issue and make things worse. Were the person is left feeling disrespected causing them to say things to disrespect you. Despite common belief this is not an effective way to communicate.
Constructive communication is no matter how a person responds to you. You are able to respond in a calm and productive way. Still being able to get your point across without starting an argument.
I think often times, people want you to go toe to toe with them. But the best thing that you can do is respond to psycho people in a calm way AND do not go to their level. This makes you look like a psycho. Instead respectfully communicate with them, and then walk away. This leave them standing there arguing with themselves and not with you.
When you enter a job, school, a relationship, or anytime you have to communicate with people. You are going to have a disagreement. Do you really want to be known as the woman yelling all the time for everything little thing? The woman that people are afraid to say anything to because you are going to try to “prove your point” in the most disrespectful way possible. Or do you want to be the mature, intellectual woman that no matter what anyone says to you, you are able to respond with grace and pose.
Holding your tongue or knowing when to speak is a thing to be valued. When people go off on me I know that in the back of my mind that I can go off on you 10 times worse. I know that my bark is way bigger than your bark and my bite is way bigger than your bite. And no matter how big and bad you think you are, I can tear you down within 5 minutes because that is how ruthless I WAS. But I am no longer that way because I understand that this is not something to be valued or treasured. Knowing that I can go off on you but choosing not to, shows a great amount of patience and self-control. So while people are looking at me thinking they have the advantage over me. I am looking at them, knowing I really have the advantage over them.
I have the ability to control my mood, to control my anger, and to control my tongue. These are things that come with being an educated, intelligent, GROWN woman. And since they have not mastered these things, I just see them as a grown woman in training. I have learned something that they have yet to even realize or discover. And that is, I run this. Meaning I control what my mind thinks, what I say, and what I do. I am not ruled by my emotions and do not have to say everything I feel. And I have the ability to articulate myself and get my point across in a productive way, making a situation better not worse. I know when you walk away and leave the other person standing there yelling at themselves. I know how to use my words to calm the other person down when they are being reckless. And so my ability to control myself is way stronger than their ability to have diarrhea at the mouth. I ability to communicate effectively means that I am able to calm you down with just my words. Therefore I have more control over a situation then a person who is out of control with their mouth. I wish that more people understood this concept and utilized it.
You do not need to go off on everyone. You do not need to fight everyone or have arguments with everyone. This is not strength. This is a weakness. Having control over yourself is strength. Holding your tongue is strength. Speaking with dignity and using your words for good is strength (click my blog here on that). These are what you should aspire for as a woman.