Over the past year or so, I have actively tried not to engage in conflict... not disengage... but simply not to engage at all.
Now, for someone who is opinionated and mouthy, that's not always easy. I come from people who seem to thrive on conflict... people who like to "debate"... people who love to be right and to have the last word.
And I? Am one of those people.
But as I mentioned in a post last month, I realized it was doing me no good. I wasn't changing other peoples' minds; other people weren't changing mine. And engaging (at least with certain people) was causing me to become frustrated with myself... and often, not terribly proud of myself either.
That's not a good feeling.
So I decided to try to just walk away... to keep my mouth shut... to ask myself if engaging was going to do any good at all, and unless the answer was a resounding YES, it was necessary to just shut my pie-hole.
And overall, I've done fairly well, I think. My life has certainly felt more peaceful. And I've actually found it quite easy simply not to engage.
Except when someone says something unfair, ugly, or untrue about someone I care about.
When that happens, I engage. I so engage.
But I've found that my brain isn't the part that engages...
I feel this charge in my gut, which runs straight to my heart, and it connects almost immediately to my mouth (or my fingers). The words spew out, through seemingly malfunctioning filters, and they slap the guilty party right upside the head.
It happened today.
I didn't expect it. And it caught me so by surprise, I wound up having to leave the room, punctuating my engagement with a slammed door exclamation point.
I won't say it felt good.
And I won't say that charge and the negative feelings left as quickly as they came.
But I also won't say I'll ever simply not engage when someone I care about is mistreated.
Because I'll do it.
Every single time.