The Gift of a Fresh Topic
Say Something New to an Old Friend
Anybody can get fixated on a topic. Usually it is the annoyance that sticks in your craw or the coworker/friend/acquaintance who doesn’t act like you think they should. It bugs you, so you talk about it. I know the hot buttons for a bunch of people: things I can say to cause them to automatically press “Play” on their internal dialogue player. And here come the same words out of their mouths every time. People know my hot buttons, too: when I hear “trickle-down economics” the same set of words come to mind and mouth every time, with visceral results.
But consider what happens when a third party comes along: someone without the relationship history, someone unfamiliar with your precious grievance. Someone with an entirely different, passionate focus. This person can step into and through the usual troubled-water topics and help lead you out the other side. And it can be energizing to step away from the little slights we’ve nursed and twisted and inhabited.
I’ve witnessed grandchildren doing this with grandparents: asking an innocent question that led to an articulate explanation rather than the expected tirade. Such is the power of relationship and dialogue. And for those of us all too happy to walk on eggshells, maybe it’s time we say out loud what we’re thinking.
Image Credit: via Wo and Wé