How You Said It.

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Many quarrels and disagreements stem not from what was said but how it was said; the tone and attitude that comes with it. Many people think that this finding is an exaggeration skewed to favor women but it is just merely an explanation of human behavior.

Take for example the statement, “It is okay”. Most primarily the statement means that things are well; everything is as it should be or everything is understood. But is that always the case? It is sometimes a dare. It is especially said in a very specific tone of voice that the user will most probably deny ever using.

Then again, the same statement could be a reassurance that the thing you thought you messed up bad is not such a big deal so you can breathe easy. It also doubles as a beacon of hope that things are going to get better.

Another common one is that this could be a cue to shut up because you are missing the point being made and you are being a prick about it and you probably will never see what you are doing. So rather than keep making someone mad, they agree with you so that you can shut up and save yourself from the impending slap.

Break ups and fallouts are usually started by something tangible at their very core. But at the end of the day what stays with us and what sticks to our hearts is how things were handled more than what the issue was. We are burdened by the words they said and they are burdened by the words we said. And just like the “It is okay” scenario, the real sting is in the tone of voice that was used and the attitude projected with it.

I sat across from her at the table in our favorite coffee house and asked her, my best friend, “What is this really about, why are you so hurt?” She said,” It’s really not about you not having given back my dress. We always do that, half my clothes are things you have bought anyways. What really hurt me is how you said it. How you said “Can’t I have a minute of peace now that I have your dress?”  And it felt like I was bothering you, not really about the dress anymore but it felt like you were tired of having me in your life and that really sucks.

Now it would be quite ignorant of you to imagine that this whole piece is about a dress and two ladies. It is really about you and how you speak to the people you claim to care about. More often than not they are the ones that can tell which “It is okay” you mean and that’s why they can get hurt the most if you do not measure your words or when you speak out in anger. So watch your words with them that you love.

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