When Handeling A Ticking Time Bomb, Know Which Wire To Cut

Image Courtesy of Freedigitialphotos.net

Image Courtesy of Freedigitialphotos.net

When a bomb is being dismantled, it is very important to know which wire to cut.  Cutting the right one can provide relief, reassurance and comfort.  Cutting the wrong wire can only bring disaster.  With that being said, consider someone approaching you with what could be a very difficult conversation…  If you’re not careful, the whole thing can blow up in your face like a time bomb. It is important to remember that how we react is like the wire we choose to cut.

Let’s begin by saying that I interrupt.  I am continually convinced that I am RIGHT in any argument and believe that all of man kind is wasting their time when not listening to me.  I take my opportunity, when others take a breath, to jump in and make my point.  Don’t they realize that if they just listened, took my advice and heeded to my wisdom, there would be no need to pursue an argument.

There are many of us who subscribe to the concept that getting our own point across as quickly as possible will squander all needs for further discussion and convince the world of our genius. Unfortunately, effective communication cannot be reached when the blue wire of interruption is cut.

Image Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

I believe that in addition to Interruption, there are other wires protruding from conversational time bombs including:  Tit-for-Tat, Intimidation and Contempt.

Cutting the Tit-for-Tat wire during a heated discussion will only heat things up more.  The person expressing their emotions will not feel heard and in fact, need to escalate their argument in order to make any point they can.   For anyone who uses this techniques, it is in order to “save face” because of a basic sense of insecurity.  When pushed to acknowledge the perspective of another person at the risk of admitting fault, a sense of defensiveness kicks in.  Effective communication cannot be reached when the green wire of Tit-For-Tat is cut.

Image Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

When the Intimidation wire is cut, all attempts at open dialogue stop.  The act of bullying and strong-arming someone when feelings are freely being shared will shut down a persons ability to remain vulnerable.  With only tyranny and no vulnerability, the only thing that remaining is fear.  Apprehension and self doubt kick in discouraging further sharing.  Effective communication cannot be reached when the yellow wire of Intimidation is cut.

Image Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Contempt, defined as loathing and disrespect, is a volatile wire when cut during conversation.  It is expressed in crossed arms, rolling of the eyes and hands on hips which display anger and disgust.  Anyone trying to get their point across to someone cutting the contempt wire in conversation is doomed for disaster.  Every word being said, every sentiment expressed is seen through a dark jaded lens that distorts all efforts of connection.  Effective communication cannot be reached when the orange wire of Contempt is cut.

There is a red wire available to anyone at any time, regardless of how difficult the conversation, how charged the bomb.  The red wire is Empathic Listening.  When this wire is cut, you place yourself in a space to really HEAR what is being said, how it is being said and why it is being said.  When we cut the wire of listening we naturally stop producing quick responses, comparative comments, persecuting statements and scornful body gestures and opinions.

Image Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Image Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Instinctively we all want to protect ourselves from insecurity, judgment and shame.  This can lead to cutting the wrong wire each and every time.  If we act too quickly and attempt to dismantle a conversational time bomb using such tactics as interruption, tit-for-tat, intimidation or contempt we will come away in pieces, shreds of our own self worth tattered and worn.

When we cut the red wire of true listening, spaces of quiet refection and empathy will open up… allowing everyone will walk away intact, connected and in one PEACE.

 

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