Back-and-forth exchanges are tremendously energetically draining, especially if you're intent on getting the last word. Here's why I walk away in order to "win."
It’s taken a long time for me to realize the power in NOT responding. Knee jerk reactive responses show a lack of control. Not responding at all, or taking time to sort my thoughts and feelings mean “I’m the boss of me.”
I have found that just saying “Okay,” and walking away is not conceding anything. It just ends the interaction. Most of the time I can get to a “I need to walk away from this conversation for a bit” but when I can’t “okay” is enough. It’s not a command or a retort. It’s just okay I hear the words you’re saying and all I have left is okay.
On the internet, I don’t have much desire to engage with people I don’t “know,” but if I say my piece and the other person isn’t receptive, oh well.
100%. The question I sometimes ask myself when I am itching to have the last word is “is it better to be happy or be right”? Happy (almost) always wins. 😀
Well, I resemble this post. Most likely due to my overactive competitive spirit.
At first, I get a rush from the argument. It is almost fun and energy giving. I feel victorious when my opponent starts the name calling (snowflake, anyone?). My “brilliant” retort at this point is always something like, “if all you’ve got left is childish names, clearly you can’t defend your argument on actual facts.” And, yet, it continues. More names. More bashing. And now, I’m giving this hater rent free space in my head. That is not winning.
I finally learned my lesson, no one engaged on social media posts wants to have their mind changed. They want to defend their POV to the death. Me included. Plus, 50% of the time, I’ve probably spent all this negative energy battling with a bot 🥴.
My dominant personality trait is still competitive; I’ve just changed the rules of the game; it is my own mental game after all. And, I’ve redirected this energy where it is useful... real engagement with charities/groups that I was trying to support in the first place. That feels like winning and FAR more productive than arguing with a bot online.
I still slip into bad habits on occasion but I catch myself much earlier so I can move on with a some grace intact. And, then I ask for example, “okay, I was just triggered by someone shaming women for an abortion. What can I do right now to actually help women needing access to an abortion clinic.” Often, it’s a donation to a charity. Not earth shattering but a far better use of my energy, resources, and privilege.
(Umm, apparently I had a lot on my mind about this topic.)
I really loved this post, as someone who used to always want to prove I’m right. Slowly but surely moving over to the energy preservation side 🙌🏻. Also finding that “less is more”, in general, in so many aspects as I get older 😅
For me it comes from childhood and not wanting to appear less intelligent....like if someone is OBVIOUSLY wrong and I don't refute it then I also appear less intelligent. I have to remind myself that I know how intelligent I am and that I will NEVER convince them of it...because they believe their version just as strongly as I believe mine.
Love HUMM and the Cherry Limeade, which just arrived (ty for the code) is my favorite!
I also appreciate your perspective on the last word coming from a family of last word people where we practice this as a sport! But...I have recently found myself less interested in it. My eldest son is a last worder and I am learning there is no upside to that escalation (and want to model better behavior for him). Your comments about energy are intriguing and something for me to look for. In the meantime, it is interesting how much better my relationships are getting as a result of a practice of letting go of winning. It is a hard habit to break and this is a work in progress but today's column really helped!
You can only control your behavior. Thank you for such good advice. ♥️