There was a bit of tension in the air. Moe and I were clearly not on the same page. That has occurred several times (hundreds? thousands?) since we started hanging out with each other some 41 years ago. We got past that tense part, as we usually do, and managed to agree on a path forward (sometimes we just agree to disagree, but still move forward).
The way we (ALL of us) manage conflict has a lot to do with our "default setting," our autoresponse mode. Conflict happens to all of us (well, maybe not to hermits). When we deal with people, we will most assuredly deal with conflict.
When dealing with conflict, people have natural default settings...
Some default to anger.
Some default to blaming.
Some default to argument.
Some default to silence.
Some default to recrimination.
Some default to violence.
Some default to acquiescence.
Some default to harsh words.
Some default to victimhood.
Some default to politeness.
Probably no surprise, but it's much easier to get past the bumpy spots when we default to polite. It allows a little oxygen to return to the room, it mitigates the use of hurtful words, it enhances the chances of finding some common ground.
Defaulting to polite is a learnable skill. And, it's a choice.
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