The Impact of Emotional Communication, Part II

Last week, we introduced the scenario of an emotionally charged discussion on political rhetoric. Here were our three choices:

  • Discuss my thoughts and opinions on the subject and get into most likely an ugly conversation/argument
  • Agree with everything she said (placate her) and continue on in a conversation that grating on me
  • Tell her that it is best that I walk away from the conversation and talk to her the next day

I choose the last option, walking away from a conversation that (a) was only going to get worse if I chose to engage and (b) no matter what I said to her, she would never change her mind because she is one of those people (“she is always right”). Additionally, we were friendly but I did not have a significant emotional investment in the relationship. Due to that, I chose the last option so I would not have a significant conflict but did hope to spare the friendship. After walking away, I went upstairs to my room to check some emails and prepare for the next day. I preceded to receive four or five emotionally filled texts from her, stating how immature I was and how I embarrassed her by walking away from her. Now, if she would have just dropped the subject, I would have moved on and we could have salvaged our professional friendship. After the texts, we actually did not see each other the rest of the conference. I received another text a few days later of a similar nature to the previous texts. Due to that, I decided not to respond. Was this the right decision? What are your thoughts?

Why Do We All Work So Hard?

My son and I have at least one or two annual excursions that we spend most of the year planning (I do the same with my daughter). Last month, my son and I attended the National Sports Card Collectors Convention in Chicago. We have a little side business that we run together, selling memorabilia and sports cards on Ebay. I am trying to instill the entrepreneurial spirit in my kids at a very young age. As part of this trip, we get to spend true quality time together. Every year, we shed a few tears at the end of our trips since we have to go back to the “real world”. This year’s trip was much shorter than our normal trips, only going for three days and two nights as Caleb had a soccer tournament that started early Saturday morning. I actually flew from Sacramento to Dallas to pick him up and fly to Chicago; I was impressed that he acknowledged the length of travel (he said “Dad, you are crazy to do all that!”). What made this trip better/unique is that every evening, we spent time watching tv and talking. We usually do this but this seemed to be more focused. He told me about his apprehensions and fear on his upcoming soccer tournament and starting a new school in a few weeks (epilogue – the kids started at a new school this week and it could not have gone better!). That bonding is irreplaceable and so important to our relationship. I could not have had more fun on our trip…..and I also realize that this is why we do what we do. This is why I travel 150k miles a year and work so hard…..to have moments like this. Every year, we make sure to plan more of these special moments every year.

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