ive been thinking about being offensive vs being offended, and wondering just who is responsible for what. i have always felt it was the speaker’s responsibility to be clear and honest, but not willfully harsh. likewise, i have always felt it is the hearer’s responsibility to be as understanding as possible, and not go flying off in a counter without first trying to understand the point.
but it isnt always that clearly obvious in moments of stress or heat. we all have emotional pressure points that can cause a reaction before we have time to think through a chosen response.
sometimes i feel as though ive been given all the responsibility, to both be inoffensive and to be unoffended. wouldnt that be nice. as if i were that close to perfection … however, i often feel like its my job to watch out for the other person’s feelings, even when my own are getting trampled. mind you, this is a general feeling, and not a reference to any one individual. i feel it necessary to point out that the beau has often taken the heat for things that crop up between us (i think ive almost perfected him). and i remorsefully admit i do fall into rages over issues unresolved in my mind. i dont like that, and i feel abased over it.
however, over the years, it has most frequently been put upon me to be the responsible one in a conflict. so i wonder how do other people see this balance of power falling out in a contention over something. granted, it is more desirable to address ones complaints with no blame against anyone for anything. and equally to own the responsibility for another’s distress. even God asked me to forgive Him one time. this melted my heart in an instant, because i knew most assuredly that He was not at fault. but in His humility, He asked, thus easing my anger at the moment like water quenches fire. oh to have that strength perfected in me now!
but we all get angry from time to time. and when we do, is it not permissible to state it? cant we be honest and open about what we feel, if we dont attack someone in the process? and if we are honestly declaring an angry feeling, can we not expect to be heard and received, and the thing we are angry about addressed, without a thousand defenses going up first? can we not feel safe enough to calmly declare our feelings without being attacked? if i am angry, it is not without reason. and i think i am capable of declaring it without attacking. but if i am angry with someone’s actions, can i not address it without being fired at? am i not required to listen to the other’s complaints without being offended?
sometimes i think the people in this generation are so indoctrinated with the idea that feeling ‘negative’ things is wrong, that we no longer give each other permission to be angry with each other. but we do get angry. and the anger simmers unrequited. then it either explodes with little provocation, or becomes a dull throb that numbs the soul and steals the joy out of life. anger, while a real part of this life, should not be given this kind of status.
if you are angry with me, i will listen. i will not chastise you for being angry. i will not fire at you with my defenses, being myself too insecure to handle your anger. but if i am angry with you, will you do me the same? i dont know. this is a rambling discourse, with no clear conclusion for me. i wish i just never got angry.