Bullying at town hall meeting?

I saw this article online a few days ago, Rep. Jason Chaffetz: People at my town hall ‘intended to bully and intimidate’ me.

I have to admit that I immediately judged that comment and the sentiment, wondering why a government official would state that.  Then, I felt some inner sadness around my judgment …. but more, it seems as is these situations might be a missed opportunity for real connection … IF someone in the equation were willing and had the tools to change their reaction; thus, putting the focus on the connection versus on the reaction.  I’m really wanting us all to connect more … in our personal lives and in our business transactions.

I’m really wanting us all to connect more … in our personal lives and in our business transactions.

YES, it sounds like people apparently were yelling and screaming.  What might that mean?  I know when I yell and scream, I want to be heard and I usually don’t feel as if I am.

As painful as our societal growing process may seem lately, what I do appreciate is that people are speaking up.  They are coming to clarity of what is meaningful to them, and what they are willing to speak out about.  AWESOME.

It may not be elegant or polite or connecting; but, it’s REAL. How often do we say we want others to be real?  I hear and read it a fair amount; often with people using the word “authentic”.   Well, guess what?  People are doing it.

The other thought I had about this is ….. how as a society we tend to shy away from conflict as if it’s something bad.  Of late, I remember my mom sharing with me (many decades ago) that our Pastor, Father Geary, at Sacred Heart where I went to grammar school and church once told mom:

“Even if you’re yelling, at least you’re still communicating.”

Yep, I couldn’t agree more.  Next step, start to connect with yourself … and allow whatever you’re feeling to exist … while staying connected (not shutting down) …. and begin to connect to what might be going on with the other person(s).  If you’re able, begin to consider what needs the other person(s) may be attempting to meet.

My hope is that those in business, those in government, all of us … begin to explore the concepts behind Nonviolent Communication as developed by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, and invite trained mediators to join them in difficult situations so that we may begin to heal ourselves and our world.

Want to learn more, feel free to connect with me, subscribe to receive notice when I post another “Musing”, and/or learn more about connection and needs from the Center for Nonviolent Communication and/or through the NVC Academy.

Please note: Any classes you may take through the NVC Academy using the link above will contribute to Affiliate funds I may earn from them.  It’s where I started to put life and breath into my understanding of Nonviolent Communication, which has changed my life. 

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