I once heard if you really don’t want to get into it with someone there are ways to stop the argument before it starts.
I first started practicing the “Maybe you’re right” rule at work. If I thought someone was trying to pick a fight with me, I would stop myself from reacting and say, “Maybe you’re right.”
If someone said something to me that I felt was a dig at my personality, I would calmly say, “Maybe you’re right.”
If they questioned my judgement in a certain situation, I said, “Maybe you’re right.”
By not reacting, and by taking a step back, I could look at what this person had said with a rational mind. I could see if what they said had any truth in it. If it did, I could approach the person later, in a better state of mind, and discuss their concerns.
If what they said didn’t “hold water,” if it was truly meant to just cause a reaction then, I had removed myself from the situation before it escalated into an argument.
I liked knowing that a person was unable to get the rise they may have expected from me and that I could choose not to lose my peace of mind, or my serenity by just saying a few simple words: Maybe you’re right.
After practicing this technique for awhile, I noticed that people at work, who had tried to get a reaction from me before, stopped baiting me because they were unable to get the “hoped for” result.
I also found, that the people who had honest concerns, respected me for the way I was able to keep a cool head, my calm way of thinking, and my ability to take a step back, and look at myself and my actions.
By using this phrase, “Maybe you’re right,” I took my personal feelings out of the situation and stayed rational.
I was able to bring an emotional situation a step down, instead of reacting and causing it to “step up.”
“Dear God, help me to take a step back when provoked. If I can calmly and rationally, distance myself from the situation, I can then see if I have a part in it. Taking a step back will give me time to see what I truly need to do.”
I can recall finally going to comment like this … It’s like putting some water on the fire. 🙂
My ex had the need to have the last word… it seemed it was a core part of his personality as I started to really look at things. It’s virtually impossible to have a reasonable conclusion to conversation when someone is in that mode, and on top of that, I’d feel myself holding back irritation and losing track of how I really felt about what we were talking about!
Patricia a funny story about this one… once my husband (before he was my ex-husband) found out that this was a tactic I used to calm things down… he would freak out when I said it! 😀 but I’m able to use it with people outside of 12-step all of the time 😀
I am going to get that tattooed across my forehead
Robert… I love you. That comment made me laugh SO HARD. Ahhhhh hang in there…. it gets easier to choose “not” to engage over time… 😉 D.