A measured response

Guest column


It began for me suddenly and unexpectedly, when an individual, via texting, made an unsettling and disturbing remark. Before, I would have responded with unfiltered emotions such as anger, but things were different this time. This time, I delayed my response and disengaged, thus giving myself time to think through the process rather than confront or react.

There is something about taking time, as it affords the opportunity to analyze circumstances and review with a logical process without emotional ties. In fact, to put it a different way, it afforded me the opportunity to cool down and observe things with a clearer mind, rather than through a dense fog. It permitted me time to review it through a different lens.

Through all of this, I began to put pencil to paper, reflecting on my feeling about what the text meant and why. My next step was to begin to form a personal plan on how to meet and discuss with the individual. I have found for myself, personally, that texting is too sterile and can be to often misunderstood.

Thus, person-to-person works best for me. The simple reason is that when one communicates in person with an individual, it provides the opportunity to observe facial expressions, body language and voice inflections. These are vital facets in basic communication.

This process of pausing, reflecting and discussing in person may prove beneficial to others when encountering similar circumstances. Try it. It is quite possibly something that He would endorse.


Daniel J. Paul is a retired school administrator. His articles focus on education, old-fashioned family values, relationships and other topics. Go to his website at meaningfuldifferences.net.


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