What You Don’t Say Matters Because…


It just might be the reason why you’re still fighting.

I was headed to work one day, via tricycle. Two women were already seated in back, so I was the last passenger. I was settling in when I realised the driver was arguing with one of the women.

She was large, and the driver’s grouse with her was precisely that. He was demanding that she get down or he wouldn’t move. She, for her part, abused him (and his mother, I think), and insisted on her right to sit where she pleased. He said the only way she was going with him was if she paid double the fare. She said he was mad. They went back and forth for a couple minutes more and then the fat lady got off in a huff, still swearing at him (and his mother).

It would have inconvenienced him to carry her, but it wouldn’t have been impossible. Indeed, before she got off, the other lady and I fitted in quite nicely in the space she left (which really was about enough for one average person, but we were both slim).  He could have carried her, but he didn’t.

So I watched her go, watched her climb into another tricycle, still cursing him under her breath. He, too, was still defending his stance. And I thought about the unspoken issues at stake: his tricycle versus her weight, his primary source of income versus her self-esteem.

It matters how you define your interpersonal conflicts. You can’t easily resolve a conflict when you insist on defining the situation in terms of the other person’s problem and not in terms of your own insecurities.

What interpersonal conflicts could you redefine today?

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6 thoughts on “What You Don’t Say Matters Because…

  1. its a very common scenario, and we d small (in stature) population usually suffer with the drivers and bus owners. cos its because we can manage with them that they think they can always get away with not paying for an extra seat.

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    • Hi, Funmi! You’re absolutely right about this kind of thing being more common with smaller-statured people — people seem to think they have a right to take advantage of you just because they’re bigger! The unfair world we live in! Sorry about the late reply, and thanks for hanging around.

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  2. It’s nothing esoteric o! I just try to stay aware of the world around me and ask questions what are otherwise “silly” questions — “silly” because the answers seem so obvious. The trick is looking beyond those “obvious” answers to see if there isn’t more than meets the eye. And there usually is. Thanks!

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  3. Okay now,u blame d woman cos she’s we’ll nourished..by d time u re well fed like her,u’ll knw her position but I guess by then ur private jet wd ve bn secured.
    Thumbs up,bro

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