(NaturalNews) The initial anger, shock or fear that arises when verbally attacked seem to be automatic and hardwired for the average person. Once fear and resentment take hold, they quickly succumb to hatred. Thus, the Dark Side leads you into the eternal trap of fault finding. Soon, your foolish defensiveness leads you to engage in a circular battle of wills to prove your innocence and the obvious evil intentions of your accuser. This dance of hatred is no place for a Jedi!
Most people do the exact opposite of what is helpful when attempting to handle verbal attacks or criticism
Let us handle this one as only the Jedi can! For the sake of establishing a starting place, we will classify all communication into just four categories. The Jedi do not suggest that this model is "true." It is merely useful for our purposes today. Here are the four categories.
1. We seek information (ask questions)
2. We give information (make statements)
3. We attack (aggressive statements or questions)
4. We abandon (refuse to communicate verbally)
Most people, when attacked, respond by giving information. Often, the information given is intended to prove the attacker wrong. This often backfires and serves to stoke the Dark Side's fire of hatred and collusion. A typical scenario:Wife (to husband):
I am really sick of you spending money all the time. Sick of it! It doesn't grow on trees, you know! You're a grown man. Stop buying those stupid comic books! Please
. Grow up already.Husband:
Well, look who's talking, the queen of the $50 spray tan! If you're going to criticize me for spending too much, at least you could watch your own unnecessary spending (attack
). And, for your information, I didn't buy those comic books. Steve brought them over for me to do a price analysis. I am well within my budget for hobby spending (give info). You should know that since you check our bank balance every friggin' hour (attack).Wife:
Whatever. Grown men and their stupid hobbies. You know, every time I stop tanning, you stop noticing me, so what I am supposed to do? I tan and you get all turned on. I stop tanning and you act like I don't exist (begins to cry).Husband:
Whatever is right (attack). I didn't do anything wrong (gives info). You came here to pick a fight and now you are trying to make me feel guilty (mild attack). I'm outta here (abandon).
This man is not trained in the Jedi
art of communication, so he has missed a significant opportunity to connect with his wife and shape a new destiny for their future. Only a confused, undisciplined and poorly trained person would miss this opportunity. Of course, most men are confused, undisciplined and poorly trained!
This husband, upon being attacked, did two things (as most people would). He attacked back and he gave information
. He left out of the scenario the one thing
that might have saved him, seeking information
Had this poor fellow been trained in the Jedi ways, it might have gone much differently, as follows:Wife:
I am really sick of you spending money all the time. Sick of it! It doesn't grow on trees, you know! You're a grown man. Stop buying those stupid comic books! Please! Grow up already!Husband:
Is money missing from our account? I didn't know that. Are we overdrawn? (seeks information)Wife:
Huh? No! The account is fine (she calms a bit). It's just these stupid comics. Why do you have to buy these?Husband:
Oh, those. Steve brought them over. I didn't buy them. In fact, I've been watching my hobby budget pretty closely. Is there something I can do for you? (get the idea?)Wife:
Oh (much calmer). I'm sorry. No. It's just been a stressful day and I guess I took it out on you.
At this point, the husband is out of the line of fire and free to support his wife in her stress. He can ask questions, make suggestions and do any number of things to help the situation. A new world is open before him, just because he knew what to do.
The rule is as follows
When attacked, seek information. Seeking information in the face of a verbal attack allows the attacker to release the pent up energy behind the attack and diffuse the anger. It allows the one being attacked to understand what is going on before responding.
Of course, it takes patience with your natural instincts to respond without a counter attack (thus the need for complete Jedi training). Sometimes a counter-attack is useful, but not very often. Exercising patience, managing your mind and seeking to understand will diffuse any attack worth diffusing, and without any need for drawn sabers.About the author:
Mike Bundrant is author of the book, Your Achilles Eel, Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage
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