When students are in class, learning how to build their character and how to become contributing members of society, they learn more than just the three Rs. They also learn how to take feedback, how to be a good person, and how to act in public. But what about when they’re not in class? What about when they screw up?
There is a phrase that is often uttered in these situations: “It’s not the end of the world.” This is a phrase that we often have to tell ourselves, especially when we make mistakes. And it’s true – it’s not the end of the world. But it can feel like it is.
When we screw up, we often feel like we’re the only ones who have ever done that. We feel like we’re the only ones who have ever made that mistake. And we often feel like we’re the only ones who will make that mistake.
This is not true. We all make mistakes. We all screw up. But, more importantly, we all learn from our mistakes.
When we screw up, we have to face the consequences. We have to face the feedback. We have to face the fact that we’re not perfect. But, if we learn from our mistakes, then we can become better people.
And that is the best revenge of all. To be better than those who have hurt us. To be better than those who have wronged us. To be better than those who have made us feel small. Let’s be clear on what we mean by “better”. Not that we’re better than others, rather that we are behaving better than those who are hurting us.
That is the best revenge. And that is what we should strive for.
Why being quiet is powerful?
Silence can be a very powerful way to “be” with another person, especially when they are troubled. When another person has a decision to make, a problem to solve or simply a need to express themselves, silence can often provide the opportunity for them to have time to talk, reflect and decide without outside pressure.
On the other hand, if it is a difficult person or situation; Say less and listen more. The conflict is going to be decided by the conflict-engaged party’s desire for conflict resolution, not by what you say or don’t say, you can always bring up a conflict later when it has a chance of being resolved constructively.
If your conflict partner is conflict-averse, conflict avoidance may be a better conflict resolution tactic than conflict engagement. However, conflict suppression can get you what you want from the conflict because sometimes conflict engagement might backfire and lead to even more conflict escalation.
Conflict suppression will give your relationship breathing room that it needs to grow strong again if that’s the goal. Although, conflict evasion is the ultimate conflict resolution tactic if you are being abused or intimidated by physical threats or force–get out of the conflict as quickly as possible and go to the authorities.
When should you say nothing?
- When the other side in a negotiation starts debating against itself
- When you’ve asked a question
- When the other side misunderstands (and they refuse to hear an explanation)
- When you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about
- When you need someone else to get the credit
- When you are bragging, as opposed to sharing
- When your comment is more about you than the other person
- When you want someone else to grow
- When you are clearly boring people
- When you begin a speech (whenever giving a speech, try to start out with a long, uncomfortable pause)
When Should You Say Nothing at All?
“Silence speaks volumes,” my mother used to always say this, and until I became an older adult, I did not truly understand this.
The best revenge is no reaction. Believe it, the silence and zero reaction really bother a difficult person, and it is definitely the best-served revenge. Nothing creates more curiosity than silence. People usually expect a vent or an angry rant but do not give in.
When conflict is inevitable and conflict resolution is required, silence can be a conflict management strategy. It might seem counter-intuitive to not say anything about something that has upset you, but sometimes saying nothing at all is the wisest course of action.
Rather than speak up with complaints or disagreements, it might be better to hold your tongue and think about what you want to say instead of automatically responding. Give yourself time to consider the conflict from each party’s perspective, and then respond in a way that is best for everyone involved.
While silence might seem like a passive strategy, it can actually be very powerful if approached correctly. Silence can indicate agreement or disagreement while also diffusing conflict by not escalating it.
In conflict, each person has a responsibility to work toward conflict resolution that is beneficial for all parties involved. In order to do this, you must be willing to communicate your needs and desires in a way that is fair to everyone. This can be difficult when emotions are running high, but oftentimes silence can help to create a calmer situation.
If you find yourself in conflict, make sure that your needs and desires are heard by the other person clearly and without judgment. If they cannot understand your perspective, then it might be best to remain silent until their emotions have settled, and they can be open to what you’re saying.
You should also avoid conflict when you are angry, not because conflict resolution is impossible, but because your emotions will hinder your ability to be productive and manage the conflict in a way that benefits everyone involved.
No relationship can work without conflict. Conflict is an expected and natural part of any relationship, whether it’s between friends or spouses or coworkers. Understanding that conflict is inevitable can help you to manage conflict more effectively.
However, if the conflict is not managed, it will only escalate and become worse for everyone involved. This can lead to tension or even broken relationships if not handled properly. Therefore, conflict resolution must happen in some form at the end of any conflict situation in order for both parties to move forward with their lives.
So, next time you screw up or are in conflict with a difficult person, remember this: It’s not the end of the world, although it can feel like it is. We can silently learn from our mistakes, become better people because of them. That is the best revenge of all.
Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick quote
Or take the approach one of my mom’s favorite quotes suggests, “speak softly and carry a big stick,”.
The complete wording is: “Speak softly and carry a big stick — you will go far.” The full phrase indicates that success is likely to result when you take a nicer approach even when everyone involved knows that you have a more forceful option at your disposal.