Saturday, June 03, 2006

Disagreement

I was part of a really horrible disagreement this week - and not by choice. Someone took issue with something I said. Fair enough.

I responded to the objections raised about what I said, explaining my opinion etc. It seemed to me, in part, to be a knowledge problem - the issue was about something that I know somthing about, so I also tried to impart some of my knowledge. I expected the other person to respond in a similar way - give their opinion, explain why they disagreed with mine and we'd have a interesting discussion.

How wrong was I?! The other person proceeded to talk over me, increasing in volume - not listening to a word I said. What was worse, was that they began to display complete hatred and contempt for me - saying things in an exasperated tone 'Oh, come on Louise', rolling their eyes and agressive gestures (on top of what can be inferred from how the 'discussion' carried on - disrespect, anger etc). As soon as I realised that we wouldn't be able to discuss this, I called a halt and said that we would discuss it later - (this took place in front of other people, when we were trying to do something else). When I tried to resolve the discussion later, it got worse. The person wouldn't have talked with me, unless other people had persuaded her. She made really personal, hurtful comments - 'I'm not taking any more of your nonsense, Louise', and did the thing people do when they know they kind of have to listen and respond to someone, but don't want to - 'Yes, Louise', 'Okay', 'fine' - anything to shut me up.

I was really shocked and distressed by the whole thing. What scared me the most, is that this person has already decided that whatever I say, she will not accept. There is nothing I could do, short of total compliance with her wishes (and even that would be distrusted), that will convince this person that
  1. I know what I am talking about,
  2. I'm not out to get her/I don't hate her/I don't have an ulterior motive
  3. I'm a person as worthy of love and respect - and failing that, politeness - as she is.

I'm also really shocked because this person claims to be a Catholic and has known me (well, we've been in proximity to each other) for at least 5 years. I don't particularly like this person, but I always treated her as I would any random person who wasn't trying to harm me. I don't normally find myself in such a situation - this came totally out of the blue. I'm trying to account for a reason that she could hate me so much, and I'm coming up with nothing I think would merit it.

If you can, please pray for us both - I have to see her tomorrow and I have a feeling that this is not yet resolved.

1 comment:

PeteB said...

How did it go with 'rolling eyes' lady?!