When said in the right way, with the trust and the open conversation, what is thought of as nasty language can be invigorating to the conversation…
According to who?
Why do you care?
Do you honestly believe that?
It’s your choice?
For what reason?
What’s the point?
On the other hand, when the atmosphere is poisonous, and there is a total lack of trust and harmony, then this is just bullying language. It is an obstruction for the sake of closing down a conversation or to frustrate your opponent. When delivered without care, it is designed to do nothing other than disarm the other person. I can see right through you when you come at me in this way. I can see you are being an arse.
You want my attention, then build out more of the questions with more intelligence. Add something more substantial to the exchange.
The missing piece for me is the extensions to the sentence. The extensions slow down the velocity and allow the listener and receiver to reflect and think. These things soften the question but open up the conversation to be expanded upon.
So what – will you do then?
Why is it you – and not someone else to deliver the action?
According to who – decides if the outcome was best or not?
Why do you care – about not making a mistake?
Since when – have you felt like this?
You honestly believe that – or are you using this to avoid a deeper conversation?
Refuse it – you do not need to do it, you can decide and offer a counter?
It’s your choice – to do it that way so is it the right choice?
But what – if it does work ou?
Who cares – if you fail, what will be the consequences?
For what reason – did you hold back on it?
What’s the point – for delivering it with that tone, what are you looking to get as an outcome?
The other three pieces missing in this type of exchange are.
- Context – we need to be on the same page about what it is we are talking about what we want as the desired outcome. This is the starter for any conversation that is fleshed out to be challenging.
- Trust – we can have this type of conversation if we have built the trust over time. If the trust isn’t there, then you are just aggressively policing the exchange, and I did not enter into the conversation to be interrogated.
- Supportive – we can talk in this way if you want to help support me to a successful outcome. If you have my success in mind, then the conversation will go well, but if it is all about you and my success has to be for your success, we have a problem.
- Humour – Timely humour can soften the blows from the questions, but you have to be authentic with it because no one likes an evil fox dressed as a clown, that’s not a pretty sight.
- Conclusion – We might want to have a point to the conversation, a solid reason to go this hard at it. If we have no point, then there is no point. When we reach the end, I will hope for a conclusion, even if that conclusion is that we beg to differ.
If all the above doesn’t land when you’re talking to me like you are a star cast member from CSI: Miami, then I will tell you to F*CK *FF in not so many words…
Please don’t take it personally. It is not you. It is me.
I have always been overly sensitive to being bullied or told what to do. It harkens back to the day I said to my father that I would join the army. As a military man himself, he laughed and said, ‘Son, you are not for taking orders from anyone without putting up a fight for more details. The army is not for you. Think about something else for a career.’
Of course, he was right. I would never have liked the army. I admire the people who excel in such a field. I am in awe of the soldiers who go on to be the elite. That is some real mental toughness right there for everyone to see if they want you to see it.
But I know the army life was not for me, I don’t have the character, and I know it is not for my own son because he also has too much character.