Boomerpdx.com Director of Research, Dr. Nitrontap (niTrontap), recently discussed conflict as it moves toward silence and violence:
“Let me remind you that conflict is life.
Without conflict to overcome, life has no meaning.
I like to tell people that conflict drives dramatic interpretation, hence the term drama queen. Without drama, the lives depicted have no more meaning than our own, which ought to frighten online gamers.
While silence and violence don’t seem polar opposites, they are. Here’s why:
If you ask a question, and the person you’re talking to doesn’t answer, do you find your own answer?
For example, the kitchen floor is wet one morning and the freezer door is open. You understand the ice melted.
You ask who left the freezer door open? The person you’re asking is silent when they’d ordinarily offer opinions and solutions.
You have the culprit and be right since the door didn’t open itself. Or they might be covering for someone else and their silence is a code you’ll never break.
While you mop up the water, you ponder the silence. Would they tell the truth under stress? Under threats? Could you have to beat the truth out of them?
Since the quiet one is your six year old standing up for your three year old, you mop with pride and keep mopping, silently planning a series of classes on how to open and shut a freezer door. Then you remember silence is violence and perk up slowly to avoid the appearance of a bi-polar swing.
Happy times ensue.
If a college roommate leaves the freezer door open instead of your kid, the dynamic changes. Maybe his silence is cover for his girlfriend and you know you’d have little chance of beating the truth out of either of them. So you keep mopping, glad to do it pain free from the thrashing the roommate would have put on you to show off for his girl.
Now you’re probably asking, ‘when is the best time to administer a beat down to a silent roommate? On anyone?’
The answer is never.
More on silence:
Silence is a choice you have to respect. If more people were more silent, wouldn’t we all get along better. Talking half as much today is still a chatterbox in other eras. The American President ‘Silent’ Calvin Coolidge once said, or had someone say for him, “You never have to repeat what you don’t say.”
In a more practical view, if you came across a smokey smelling man holding an empty gas can and a Bic lighter standing in front of a burning house, would you need to talk about it before calling 9-1-1?
For real organic quiet, peaceful quiet, hang around Alaska, the quietest state in the Union. People there are so quiet you have to check if they’re breathing now and then. Not everyone can be that quiet, but don’t you wish more would try?
At the end of the day, think of silence and violence as dirty ends of the same stick. In movies the hero gets as close as they can to the end, out on the slippery part.
Others go out on the stick with them. They can’t let go because their world and everything in it would circle the drain. Who will be the first to slip off with a dirty hand? Who will be the last to hang on with permanent stains?
You get answers in a movie, not so much in life.
The take-away from this section of the Boomerpdx Conference is this: During your next argument, fight, or disagreement, take a moment to wash your hands well. You’ll feel better.”