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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Last Word

Do you like to have the last word when in a debate, argument or confrontation?
Are you able to just let it go and let the other person get the final word off their chest, have their say and be done with it? 
Some people feel a need to have that “last word” while others can simply walk away and shrug it off. Even if they are not simply shrugging it off, some people tend to not need to put their final two cents in.
Does it matter who has the last word?
Does it make a difference?
It certainly does! 
You may be thinking that having the last word gives you more power, more control or that you “win” the argument if you get to have the final say.
You could not be more wrong! 
Having the last word surely may make a person FEEL better but it does not give them more power, more control nor does it mean they “win” the argument! 
What it does do however is leaves them wanting more!
Usually - and you can sit back and think about this from your own personal experience - when someone wants the “last” word it really is not the last word they are looking for! What they are in fact looking for is for you to come back and argue with them some more! They are hoping to continue the argument! They want to still have you in their life! They feel if they get that final say it will  put more out there for you to dissect, consider, deliberate over, get angry about, regret etc and so on. Whatever their personal motivating factor in any given argument may be the last word is rarely the last word for the person getting to say it. 
How often have you had the last word only to feel confused when the other person totally became silent? Did it make you feel any better? Did you not wonder what they were thinking of your last words? Did you sit there for a day or more thinking “Oh they will be writing me an email, or calling me back soon!” Did it consume you even a little bit that you had your final say but really honestly wanted more? 
Okay think of the times you have NOT had the last word and you are the one who fell silent! How did that make you feel?
See the key in all of this is that NOT having the last word actually gives you more empowerment and in turn control and power! By not saying anything else you close the books. You are sending a clear and direct messages that there is nothing left to go over, nothing more to discuss, that their opinion differs from your own but that is okay you can agree to disagree and most of the time that you really do not care that much anyway. Usually NOT wanting to have the last word but just end the disagreement shows that you honestly do not even care that much OF the other persons opinion! They do not control you, can not take away your power, can not change your mind, influence your direction or decisions and that you are strong in your stand point and know exactly how you think and feel and will not open the door back up for childish bickering or allowing for anyone to put you down or disempower you. Now how do you think that makes the other person feel? Ahhhh see? Exactly how you feel when you DID get the last word only to be ignored! See who really has the control and power? The person who stops the fighting and simply walks away! 
Now trust me I am far from a passive person but their are subtle nuisances to being empowered and it is not who yells the loudest wins! 
When you allow the other person to have that final say you will usually find they are the ones who can not let it go! They will eventually pipe back up with another call or email trying to yet again bait you back into the argument! This is because they are the ones who honestly can not let it go. It is eating away at them that you did not write or call back with more arguments. They are defeated because what they wanted all along was not even so much the argument with you but the contact, even negative attention is attention! Some people would rather have negative attention than none at all! 
If arguing is the only way for them to get your attention then they will egg you on and continue to poke at you until you come back lashing out at them once again so just choose NOT to do it! 
So what should you do you do? Even after you have let them have the final say and you do not reply back yet they now are again banging at your door (email or calls or texts or even literally your door!?) You ignore them, close the door, block your emails and texts and get a restraining order if needed.!  If and when this is not possible because you live with this person, are married to them or work with them etc, you then must set firm boundaries tell him this discussion is over, will not be revisited again and that you are finished exploring any and all other options. You go your way they can go theirs on this topic even if it causes difficulty in other areas you can work on the clean up as you go along. You simply can not continue to debate the same old grounds over and over again as it is utterly pointless when you get to this point.
We spend far too much of our lives fighting battles that are necessary, surly we have to be intelligent and empowered enough to walk away from the battles that will never be over. Its not about winning or losing, its about having dignity and self respect and self preservation. Its about using our intelligence and our wits taking the higher road and if it makes you feel any better at all know this ... the person who falls silent and stops the chaos gets so far under the other persons skin by what they do NOT say that you will end up feeling the “winner” anyway! 

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