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By Chandrama Anderson

Arguing in Public

Uploaded: Dec 23, 2014

I went for a walk out at Princeton Point near Half Moon Bay the other day. The rain had stopped after pouring the night before, and it was damp and fresh. I watched a snowy egret digging for lunch, a powered parasail fly overhead, saw dogs, surfers, couples and families.

Pretty soon I heard a couple walking behind me, arguing in public. Nasty tones. You said this . . . No, you said that . . . You didn't call me . . . I didn't know . . . You sniped at me . . . You should've . . .

These are all the phrases and ways of communicating that I don't allow in my office. Can you imagine listening to that all day? Well, maybe you can. Maybe you do. Maybe it's in your house. I'm sorry, if that's true. I don't allow that in my office, because we have to do things differently in order to re-wire our brain to healthier communication.

These types of arguments solve nothing, and leave both parties feeling lousy and resentful. Do you think they went home, had a glass of wine and enjoyed sex after that? No, I don't think so either.

These public arguments are painful to hear from out here, and likely worse from inside there. Usually it's because we have a need that is not being met: to be heard, to be seen, respected, valued, not fixed, etc.

We can learn to say it in a healthy way: I don't feel heard right now. Please listen and don't fix this for me; I need a sounding board right now.

Notice when the word "You" comes out of your mouth. What goes with it? How does that work out?

We are rocks in a tumbler, taking off the rough edges and polishing one another.