Communication 101: Two Wrongs Will Never Make A Right
That’s all I can really say for my hiatus. I don’t want to bore you with all of the intricate details, but in short, I am now a resident of the East Coast once again. No, I’m not running from the law or child support, but instead was presented with an opportunity I just couldn’t refuse. (Someone cue “The Godfather” music now).
Being back here has been exciting to say the least, but it has of course been some adjustment. But I’ll save these observations and experiences for another day.
Again, I say sorry.
One thing about having been bicoastal for so long, is that I have an abundance of friends and acquaintances on both coasts. This of course leads to an array of conversations that often times are unrelated to geographical location.
Which is precisely why I’m writing today.
A few buddies of mine have this email group where we essentially talk a lot of crap and brag about many things that we’ve either done, thought about doing, or lied about doing. Consider it a man-cave conversation, internet style. We’re all good friends, so a lot of the good natured trash talking is just that; trash talking. Occasionally, someone will bring up a very real topic and like Dr. Oz everyone will weigh in with an expert opinion.
Recently my friend, Todd, who happens to play in the NFL posed a question to our group: ‘How do you keep from arguing with your girl all of the time?” It seems Big T and his longtime lady and “future wife,” (his words not mine), were having issues with arguing. As Todd stated, “She always wants to be right and I damn sure know I’m right, so…..” T also felt that it was partly his fault for choosing a strong, highly-educated woman, and sort of chalked it up to “I guess we’ll be like this forever.”
Before I go on, the simple fact that Todd brought this to our group showed something very important: he really cared about his woman. Dude’s in “The League.” He makes a lot of money and could probably have any woman he wanted. I know plenty of other players, who aren’t so introspective or caring and would choose another route entirely. (See the professional athletes’ guide on How To Live Your Life)
Back to Todd.
The advice poured in from everyone. Four of the seven dudes on the list server are divorced; which depending on how you look at it, kind of makes their opinions invalid (Wait I think I fall into this category. Let me think on that again). Most suggested something along the lines of “You make a choice. Either you’re happy or you have a happy home.” Probably every man walking on this earth, who has ever even contemplated settling down with someone has heard this tidbit of advice in one form or another. And though its sentiments may be rooted in happiness, if misunderstood and misused, it will lead to heartache, ulcers, and surely a $4000 a month alimony settlement, which leads to more ulcers, high blood pressure, and eventual death.
Okay, so maybe that’s a little dramatic.
But really, I’m here to save lives, or at the very least relationships.
Some of the advice took another approach (or maybe it’s the same). Someone said just don’t say anything. Just be quiet when you feel the need to argue. That sounds like it will work right? There are plenty of happy and fulfilling relationships based on no communication and an overall feeling of “he’s not listening to me.” Sure silence is golden. Silence in the midst of an argument with your spouse or girlfriend will only lead to one thing: more arguments.
After spending a few moments reading the barrage of emails and advice, I decided to weigh in and frankly, as I wrote it, I thought, “Damn I need to follow my own advice.”
And here it is: People must take stock and ask themselves, “How important to me being right in this instance to our overall relationship?” This sounds a lot easier than it actually is, but think about it. Often times it seems couples get into these heated arguments over some of the most inconsequential things. Who cares about why someone was chosen to sing the National Anthem at the freaking Super Bowl (Todd’s example)? Let it go. When two people really love and care for each other and have made that commitment (I just got a chill down my spine), they should start to see that at the end of the day we really love each other and this thing doesn’t matter. Talk to your friends who have really successful relationships and by that I mean they actually love being married and would do it all over again. Undoubtedly they will tell you that of course they are going to have arguments, but they’ll never get anywhere if both of them are determined to be right. Don’t get me wrong. Discourse and enlightenment are essential to everyone’s well-being. And there are definitely times when you know that what you are saying is right and is vital to the overall success of this relationship. That’s when you have to convey this in a non-combative manner. Ease up off of the gas just a little. And watch the magic happen.
Someone may eventually have to ask themselves why we are having this conversation in the first place. One of you will have to say “this is so trivial” and get up and kiss your significant other and dammit, who doesn’t like a kiss?
I rambled on with this for a good four emails (kind of like I’m doing here) and eventually, everyone agreed I was right. Simply put: A lot arguments don’t need to happen. It’s all about putting your ego in check for the success of your relationship. Of course if you’re trying to end the thing and can’t figure out the best way to do it, just keep picking silly fights. Eventually you’ll succeed in ruining your relationship.
If only I had known all of this before…