CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Is it just me or are our fuses getting shorter? Maybe it's the political season or the 24-hour cable news shows. It just seems we've become more entrenched in our own points of view and unwilling to listen to those of others.
Then again, there's so much information overload that we need to take shortcuts. So, the sound bites prevail. And that's OK -- as long as we realize that's what they are.
Have you been in groups lately where the conversation is heavily dominated by a particular viewpoint? You want to weigh in, but wonder if it's worth the trouble. After all, even as you position your fork for that next bite, you fear you'll get eaten alive.
This has always happened in our society. Strong voices drown out the others. Which brings up one of my favorite seminar questions: "Would you rather be right -- or happy?"
An informal poll of today's discussions may have us believe a lot of folks would rather risk healthy relationships and happiness to prove themselves "right."
Bullying happens at all ages.
It's easier to grab the pithy sound bite -- and repeat it in a dogmatic fashion -- than to drill down for the facts that could lead to a healthy debate. Who has time for that?
With the abundance of information -- and our limited time to absorb every facet of a concept -- it may be a good idea to stop and realize we may not know everything. Beware of "absolutes" in conversation, and take any statement that's peppered with "always" or "never" with a grain of salt. (We learned this in school with multiple-choice questions.)
So, how do we balance those inner questions:
So, which cues are right to follow? Everything is subjective. Just pay attention to how you feel.