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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sidestepping Emotional Self-Defence

“One affair of honour leads to another, and may lead to an affair of dishonour.”

~Balthasar Gracian.

We’re tricked by our sense of pride and hurt too readily. This is our nature. To strangers, people we don’t trust and others who’d ordinarily have no influence over us, we give the keys to our hearts and they become pursuant over our circumstances.

The common default is to defend our honour, even when it needs no defending.

Maddeningly Common

We’ve all done it. Indeed, it’s that common that the most people are tempted into it daily or many times daily—to the thought of defending their credibility and honour.

But it really begs some important questions:

Who is the person poaching our name? What credibility do they really have? Where is their ‘authority’? Do we really care for extraneous complaint?

A Sounder Plan

It would make more sense, says the master sage, Balthasar Gracian, in such matters, to give them a “long thinking over.” The longer we delay our response the more reason bays its light over the costs and benefits of reprisal. Sometimes the best reprisals are borne in grace.

Most times the best reprisal is no reprisal, and to just let it pass.

This is a very true philosophy for life:

“Nothing gives one person so much an advantage over another as to remain cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”

~Thomas Jefferson.

The truth is we only want to appear so stoic around those who are attacking and trying to get us off-guard. When we don’t respond we actually raise the stakes higher often than they can return, for maturity is now the chip we play with.

The costs of such nobility are simply delay and patience. Reason is the ploy. The benefits are a new game is enacted. One they’re not likely to be skilled in. Soon their barbs will be rendered completely harmless.

Simply don’t react.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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