I was privileged to witness a conversation become a fight just the other day. What was really interesting about it was how quickly it seemed apparent to me, a fairly impartial observer, was that what turned this conversation into a fight was way beyond the scope of the fight itself.
There was quite a bit of anger, frustration, fear, anxiety, something going on here that wasn’t being said.
I’ve been around too long to be surprised that subtext takes over where text often dares not go. Surprise wasn’t what I felt. No; what I felt, as an observer, was sadness.
The sadness was first because this happened in front of family. Out loud, “in front of God and everybody.”
But the real depth of my sadness was in knowing that because the subtext took over yet remained unaddressed, neither the original issue or the pain (or anger or anxiety…) behind it would be resolved.
I’m not saying we ought to peel down through every possible layer (I don’t believe there is such a thing), but wouldn’t it be nice if conversations could be about what we think, and admit, they are about?