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Are we Interacting or Dominating?

December 11, 2020

This has been the year of BIG decisions. Our health, our politics, our social lives have been challenged this year presenting us with questions about each of these topics. Each of these topics was accompanied with a lot of information, a lot of opinions, and competing arguments with supporting evidence for their perspective. There always seemed to be two opposing answers being presented with heart felt support.

There seem to be two competing human desires at play. There is the desire to be heard and valued and there is the desire to be in the group. The internet is being credited with providing the platform to present our thoughts, our message. It is also being credited as the agent for disseminating false news. At the heart of this is our personal yearning to be heard to be listened to. Our choice when confronted with someone telling us to be quiet or not believing us is three fold. We could continue talking, possibly even raising our voice, so as not to be silenced. We could choose to find people who will listen to what we have to say and may be saying the same thing we are. There is also the option to engage those who don’t want to hear what I have to say to learn why they don’t want to listen to me.

Are we connecting or separating?

For this piece I will keep it simple and suggest these are the only choices. How then do I pick? The first option leaves me potentially frustrated and diminished building evidence I am not worthy or smart enough and therefore seen as the fool.

The second is to find my “tribe.” Those of like mind for which I can relax and be myself knowing what I say is believed and trusted. I fit in.

The third is an opportunity to learn and interact. I suggest it is the opportunity for personal growth. Humans are social beings and therefore struggle with interacting. Our greatest wounds and joys are about connection.

Since connection is core to who we wouldn’t it be helpful to pay attention to our motivation? Are we working to bring us closer? Is my need to be heard contributing to drawing people to be closer or might it be pushing them away? Be aware of your ultimate goal and include this in your choices for when to press your point and when to sit quietly. We all have something to contribute and to learn. Looking within myself to see if what I am doing is bringing me joy or heartache is the way to build a life and community you will love.

I suggest nature gives us the examples to understand the benefit of interacting versus dominating.

It presents a tremendous challenge. To engage with someone who is telling you to be quiet, to be open to what I have to say is possible. It requires trust in myself.