Frustrated people want to be heard. Today I listened as two individuals talked their mind about a decision I made. They weren’t happy with my decision and wanted to make sure I knew that.
Not knowing how they would steer the conversation I went in with no agenda. I listened as they each took turns speaking more of a stream of conscious than directing a conversation. Occasionally, they would pause after making an off-handed insult, possibly expecting me to provide some input. I would not entertain this.
Rather than come to any concrete conclusions about why we were all there, these two preferred to speak their opinions and surface level emotions on the matter. I may have only opened my mouth a handful of times throughout.
In a situation where things could have escalated quickly, had I met their aggression with my own, I opted to let them lay out their unfiltered thoughts before speaking myself. In doing so, they were able to talk themselves out before we touched on any meaningful pain points.
This could have been a genuine moment to learn about why the conversation was happening in the first place. They could have explored some underlying issues as to why I made my decision. We all could have discovered some truths about ourselves that would help us learn from what had happened.
Instead, I was lectured on their initial reactions to the event.
Consequently, they will probably face this issue again.
I walked out with a smile on my face. Knowing that they had chosen the easiest path out of a situation in which the truth hurts. Truths which they did not even bother to ask about.