Words from Dic(tionary)
Adjure (v): to urge or request someone solemnly to do something. e.g. I adjure you to tell the truth.
I have been part of discussions that started out in a desperate attempt to remain civil, often by using fancier language and cautious terminology. I’ve even heard people who were trying to convince me of the error of my ways tell me that they “adjure me” to consider another option.
The end result, in my experience, to those ventures in civility are that they eventually break down and people start slinging their hash instead of sipping their wine and nibbling their cheese.
Now, I DO understand the importance of humane treatment and respectful dialogue. But if you put a cork in a bottle and the pressure builds up, the cork can explode, impaling a near-by victim.
We have to be careful when we go into a situation with great feelings of animosity and bruised emotions, that we don’t merely put off the avalanche of misgivings by trying to build a safety net.
This actually makes things worse. Let me tell you what turns a simple conversation into a heated discussion and ultimately causes it to degrade into a nasty argument.
1. Unrealistic expectation. If people are mad, they’re mad. Setting rules for the dialogue only makes them madder.
2. When we try to hide our true sensations behind words like “adjure,” we end up coming across as condescending. (“Well, I guess I didn’t expect you to understand, given your situation.”) Condescension is what changes a normal conversation into a heated discussion.
3. Abandoning the subject. Once we feel someone has been condescending to us, the leap to rampaging usually occurs when we completely abandon the present subject, to attack the other individual personally. It can be bringing up the past, pointing out a foible that you’ve never mentioned before, or just attributing to the partner in conversation a series of assertions that he or she deems to be lies.
So how can we resolve a conflict without becoming either “hoity-toity” or turning the situation into an episode of The Fight Club?
My suggestion is this: don’t let moments pass.
If something occurs to you NOW, say it. By the time you share it later, it is completely blown out of proportion. Also, in the first fruits of frustration, we are more pliable about being wrong than we are when our hurts and pains have fermented in our brains.
Always keep in mind that big, unusual words–terminology grabbed to express supremacy–are usually received as an attack on the intelligence of the hearer.
You don’t have to agree with that, but I think when you let the sun set on your anger, you always wake up in the morning … certain that you’re right.