In our internal and external verbal duels, it helps to learn the art of deflection. Too often, we may reactively respond to events with habituated defensive or hostile words. We may learn to use deflection to do less harm to ourselves and to others when we must discuss sensitive issues.|
All people engage in dialogues with themselves and with other people that may sometimes be described as verbal fencing. Witty repartee passes back and forth as all members of a dialogue seek out each other’s weaknesses and martial their best arguments in their own defenses.
Verbal fencing is a time honored part of all human cultures from time immemorial, and this includes fencing not only with words, but with body language, as well. All people acquire a wide lexicon of postures or poses that convey a wealth of meaning that words alone can too often fail to convey.
Words can hurt; we all learn this as children, and most of us become accustomed to being hurt by other people’s words, as well as to using our own words to inflict pain on those we speak with.
One problem with the game of witty repartee that verbal fencing engages us all in is that our own verbal fencing may too often deeply condition us to become increasingly hostile or defensive, both towards other people, and towards ourselves.
Another problem is that most people appear to cease to think intelligently once they begin to respond to events in reactive patterns. Once their habituated responses are triggered, they will act out their old dramas, even when the current context for their reactive responses is inappropriate.
People learn to vent their frustrations in verbal duels, and all too often, seeking opportunities to engage in verbal battles becomes a gratifying form of entertainment at the expense of everyone involved.
Another unhealthy result is that many people develop a sense of superiority or inferiority as a consequence of the success or failure of their verbal duels.
Also, people often hold long grudges when they fail to win their arguments but cannot concede defeat, or just walk away.
One problem underlying all of this sort of behavior is that people become emotionally invested in their beliefs and often feel strongly motivated to defend their beliefs, even in circumstances where they may act out inappropriately to complete strangers.
Hostile, aggressive behavior is unpleasant for most people, except when they feel they are in a superior position, when they feel that they are the ones in control. Many people develop a false sense of superiority to bolster their courage in such circumstances.
All people are damaged more by their own hostile speech than by any other person’s hostile words, and one serious consequence of habituated reactive hostility or defensiveness is that people inadvertently reinforce their own conditioning to habitually harm themselves with their own words.
Deflection helps to reduce the potentially harmful effects of hostile words.
Deflection takes two basic forms, there is a defensive form of deflection that is meant to take the sting out of hostile words used against us, and then there is a supportive form of deflection meant to take the sting out of the words other people use to harm themselves.
Deflection is very different from outright challenges or defenses.
Outright challenges or defenses tend to further polarize an argument. Ultimately, this works to everyone’s disadvantage. Much more energy must be consumed to come to any agreement, and often much poorer quality agreements result as well.
Deflection should be used to minimize the impact of hostile statements by diverting attention to another topic or recontexting the hostility in a humorous way that does not further antagonize anyone.
Deflection can be used to interrupt habituated arguments and move them towards a more open, creative form of dialogue that helps all parties feel better about themselves and the potential outcomes of their arguments.
The art of deflection requires a sort of objectivity about our own behavior, it requires us to take a step back to allow us to interrupt our own defense mechanisms. The art of deflection requires us to learn to drop our own aggressive stances from our verbal and non-verbal communications.
As we grow more accustomed to being less defensive we learn to experience our lives with less anxiety and fear. This makes it even easier to learn the art of deflection and use it more skillfully, not only for our own advantage, but to everyone’s mutual advantages.
Skillfully applied, the art of deflection enables us to heal our lives and the lives of those around us with whom we must cooperate for our own well-being.
The art of deflection is a wonderful tool for developing cooperation skills, and as our cooperation skills improve, they help us become even more successful at mastering the art of deflection.
Most aspects of using the art of deflection improve how we think, feel, and behave, they are self-reinforcing behaviors. This means that anything you do to develop your cooperation skills and deflection skills will accelerate your ability to learn to use those skills more successfully, thereby helping you to practice your new skills to cooperate to your own advantage more easily.
The art of deflection often works best when we keep these four simple principles in mind:
One: Always do you best to love yourself and other people 100% unconditionally.
Two: Always strive to be completely compassionate towards all other people, as well as towards yourself.
Three: Always remember to nurture yourself and all other people regularly and well.
Four: Always show sincere respect to yourself and to all other people at all times.
These four simple principles can help you to master the art of deflection, to make you a more successful, cooperative negotiator who can creatively find win-win-win solutions that work to everyone’s best mutual advantages.
Author Bio :
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