30 March 2017

Time for Silence

“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.” ~ Gloria Naylor, The Women of Brewster Place
I am learning that no matter how you feel or what you say, people are going to do what they want to do.  It is everyone's right to do what they feel is best for themselves.  No doubt, I have always danced to my own tune and have not allowed anyone's energy or rhythm to interrupt my own movements, so why would I try to interrupt or throw someone else off balance just because I don't like or agree with the way they are moving?

But what if we see that they are about to fall?  What if [we think] we see that they are about to fall flat on their face and that they are taking a leap (of faith) that is surely only going to bring them to their knees?

I guess the best way to show your support is to stay quiet, hold your breath, wish for the best, and hope that they prove you wrong, and if in the event you are right, you hold your tongue and help them pick themselves off the floor until they can dance with their own two legs again.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Nova,
    After the event is over to hold your tongue and help them pick themselves off the floor until they can dance with their own two legs again is indeed the best course of action.

    But as to the former question “What if [we think] we see that they are about to fall flat on their face and that they are taking a leap (of faith) that is surely only going to bring them to their knees?”I am not so sure it is so clear cut.

    It is true we learn from our mistakes so it’s important to allow others to be free to make their own decisions and to be able to learn to deal with the consequences. But that depends on the circumstances. As you would know in business you don’t risk the entire capital of the company on just one risky business venture. But on the other hand you can’t succeed if you don’t take any risks and allow people a degree of autonomy. Anyone who never makes any mistakes isn’t doing any work. But regardless of that its good to discuss things and especially any big moves. That applies in life.

    So I always find it is perceived as helpful to offer another empathetic ear. How I would begin is to say “please don’t feel you need to follow what I would do in such circumstances but here’s my approach in case it offers some food for thought". Usually I like to punctuate discussions by asking “how does that feel” which leaves the matter open and non-confronting to someone hell bent on rushing down an ill-considered road. Move the matter on by asking are there any other worthy options to consider such as ?

    This may all sound a tad trite but I have found such an approach can have a calming effect since very few people will get uptight when they realise you are genuinely trying to be very helpful. On the other hand if it perceived they are being challenged and made to appear foolish than you will most likely be rejected and or experience hostility.

    In the end I guess you may have already tried all of such approaches so you are left with that only option to let them fail.
    Best wishes

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