Believe it or not, that’s a hard concept for some people to grasp. They don’t get the difference between talking to somebody and talking at them—trust me, the two are not the same.
It has always been my philosophy to be honest with myself about the point I’m trying to make. Emotions are too easy to get caught up in, and words become like daggers with poisoned tips for you to spew out, rapid fire, until you can emerge victorious—albeit stained with the blood and guts of the person you’ve disemboweled.
The analogy may seem vivid and violent, but it illustrates just how damaging words can be.
With that said, it’s always important to approach, potentially, volatile situations with a plan. Ask yourself where your head is before you engage in an emotional debate with someone you care about. If you know you are angry, hurt, or overly sensitive, perhaps it’s best to table the discussion for a later time—when you can be more rational.
However, if you are caught up in the heat of the moment, and the tussle gets harsh enough that the vitriol begins to well-up within you, and make it’s way to the tip of your tongue, stop and ask yourself what it is you wish to say—is your ultimate goal to hurt or to educate?
If your aim is to hurt, then it doesn’t need to be said. Spite for spite’s sake is useless and it causes nothing but more pain in the long run.
If the aim is to educate the individual about your needs, your expectations, and your qualms, then that’s productive. That’s a starting point for the healing process and a step towards personal growth for you because you are learning how to communicate your emotions in a more mature manner.
Whatever you do, take care not to place yourself in a situation that you’ll be sorry for later and, always remember, words linger longer than circumstances. No matter how your issues get resolved, a person never forgets the way something you said made them feel—don’t plant the seeds of negativity that could later spring up and overwhelm you or your relationship.
Neither of you may be able to recover.