Rebuilding Series: If At First You Don’t Succeed Try, Try, Triangle. By Marshall Lestz
Good Morning Everybody,
When we’re struggling to communicate with someone who speaks a different language, there’s a funny tendency to just keep repeating the exact same thing over and over again, but louder and slower. I guess we think that what we’re saying is SO CLEAR, that if we just keep saying it enough times they’ll eventually understand.
We often make this same mistake with our fellow English speakers too! Sometimes we think our opinion, comment or request is so clear, valid or undeniable, that if we just keep driving home the same point the same way over and over that the other person’s lightbulb will eventually go off. But that has a success rate of about 0%. And saying it louder definitely doesn’t help either.
The funny thing is that we typically think that the other person isn’t listening to us. But in truth, we’re not listening to them. They’re the one who’s clearly sending a signal that says, “I don’t agree with you.” So for us to keep pounding away, delivering our message the exact same way over and over is kind of like we’re ignoring them. It behooves us to come at it from a different angle. Not just for the sake of being more persuasive, but for maintaining a peaceful relationship.
So how do we remember, especially in the heat of the moment, to stay flexible and look for alternate angles? Well, I’d like to toss out a little word play that might help us. It’s based on what I would consider the ideal angle to take when talking with other people. And that angle is…a TRIANGLE.
All right, here’s the deal. The next time you’re speaking to someone with whom you’re not seeing eye to eye, picture a triangle. The baseline of the triangle is formed by you and the other person, and at the top of the triangle is Hashem.
Your conversation with that other guy is NOT a one-on-one interaction, even though it feels that way. Hashem is always there; He’s always involved. And He’s given us spiritual responsibilities–AKA: mitzvos– to ensure that we speak and treat that other person with the utmost respect. And when we recall that Hashem is “overseeing” our conversation, it’ll likely help us to stay calmer and have a win-win attitude. AND… last but not least, the triangle can also serve as a reminder for us to not just keep repeating ourselves the same way to the other person. We should try a new angle…as in “try-angle.”
The more we’re aware of Hashem when interacting with others, the more likely it will bring out our best, and the best in the other person. And G-d willing, it’ll keep our relationships as healthy as possible.
Have a well-rounded, triangular day everybody!
Keep on Building