I’ve never liked it. . .
people yelling. . .at one another
It never really happened much in my home as I was growing up.
I give my parents, my grandparents, my brothers, sister and extended family a huge
T H A N K Y O U
When it did happen it always made me sick to my stomach.
It made me feel like
I had to do something
to stop it or at least interfere it;
switch the attention.
It shouted to me, at a young age,
N O N – C O N F R O N T A T I O N A L
is the way I like things, personally, professionally and incidentally.
It was at recent gathering that I witnessed it.
No. . .
no this wasn’t two highly emotional, highly grieved family members fighting with each other.
I have seen plenty of those confrontations where police either had to be called to restore order or actually show up ahead of time to maintain it.
No–this wasn’t between family members or blended family members or a husband/wife. . . .
This communication explosion took place between two people that really had no other vested interest of anyone else there except to be of some service to them.
It really took me aback because my first thought was maybe she was screaming at him because I was talking to him and keeping him from what she thought he ought to be doing instead of talking to me.
It wasn’t long or overly loud but it was pointedly upsetting to me. . .
at first. . .
until. . .
I witnessed his response.
It’s what he didn’t say that shouted the loudest:
N O T H I N G
He didn’t walk away.
He didn’t snear.
He didn’t make any hand gestures at her.
He didn’t give her stink eye.
He didn’t look down, up, or away from her.
He didn’t frown.
He didn’t cry or tear up.
He didn’t fain shame or embarrassment.
He didn’t laugh.
He didn’t yell back.
He did nothing. . .
. . .which seemed like a for ever until she walked away muttering,
not-so-quietly what: “a useless jerk!”
When a person gives you a piece of their mind, it’s usually much more real estate than we’d ever like to receive, let alone, OWN. . . .
Communication happens on many different levels,
in a multitude of different languages,
including Sign Language,
but rarely do we interact with exact-laser-pointed-silence.
I saw him a few days ago and I told him maybe what I should have told him then,
“I wanted to tell you how much I respected how you handled yourself when you got yelled at a few weeks ago. I don’t know if I would have had the same reaction or even have been able, at least not to yell or respond back.”
“My dad,” he said in response to my compliment, with a smile on his face, “taught me that little gem.”
My grandmother wasn’t overly kind to my dad and when she would yell at him for not doing things
‘the right way,’
he would give her that same response.
“When I asked my dad why he never said anything back, he told me that number one, he wanted to show his mother respect and number two, whenever anyone ever yells at you in front of anyone, your response of silence will always be louder than their words.”
“Maybe. . .maybe,” he said, “She might have a feeling that she looked more silly for yelling than I did for saying nothing.”
Hmmmmmmmmmm of the Day, huh?
There’s a lot of fights,
a lot of hurt feelings,
a lot of arguments,
maybe even wars–
that might not have ever taken place with this kind of response.
C O M M U N I C A T E D
Is something that we’ve all had placed down upon us. . .
not always in the most pleasant ways,
b u t. . .
Maybe the most powerfully poetic,
profound and even profane thing we can ever say is: