|(I promise the Star Trek Reference will make sense in a second.) (Not that it needs to be justified, of course.)|
I grew up in a pretty quiet household where we... read books a lot. On the couch, in bed, in the bathroom, in a tree, we all had our noses silently buried in pages. Jason grew up in a rambunctious household where there was usually a radio playing, a TV show (or two) on, and boisterous banter.
As a result, I get overwhelmed when people raise their voices at me, and I shut off. Jason handles it much better. Sometimes he'll jump right in and raise his voice in return-- and sometimes he's even the first to raise his voice.
So we've been having an interesting debate lately: is expressing your anger helpful or harmful? I'll give you both of our arguments, but I'd love to hear your take on it too.
So here's what I've thought most of my life: disagreements are better-solved free of showing anger. To me, a productive conversation is where both people really empathetically understand the other person's feelings and logic.
I think that when you get noticeably upset at someone, one of two things usually happen. The first outcome I've seen is that they get defensive and it becomes their mission to prove you wrong-- they stop trying to hear what you're saying and focus on arguing against it (I admit this is my own tendency). The second outcome is that they get intimidated by your anger, and give in to what you're saying without explaining how they really feel about it. Either way, the conversation stops making progress.
Jason thinks that showing anger is occasionally necessary. He says that sometimes, if someone has really upset you, there's no way to express it with words alone. Even if you perfectly articulate how seethingly furious you are with someone, they just won't believe you if you're explaining it to them while seated in an armchair with your legs crossed and using your best "NPR" voice. Sometimes, people won't have the motivation to change their ways unless you show your emotion to really demonstrate how their actions make you feel.
So what's your take on it? Are you a "Spock" like me? Would the world be a better place if people could talk things through without showing anger?
Or are you a "Kirk?" Do you think that showing anger is a necessary tool of communication?
Sorry, no behind-the-scenes drama-- I didn't post this because of any fight. We're just having fun finding the middle road (for yet another opinion that our extremely different upbringings bequeathed to us).