One of the things I never learned in my family of origin was how to have a disagreement. I have some ideas about why that was. Possibly it had something to do with being an only child and not having those exasperating sibling rivalry things which I truly believe hone one's skills at disagreement. The other I believe has to do with my parents, Silent Bob and The Queen of Denial. Dad never had much to say about anything and my mother's point of view was the only one which mattered so there wasn't much conflict in our household.
I think it also stems from my personality. I am slow to warm up, and when people do or say things with which I disagree, it takes me a while to process that. So when someone is rude, I don't have a quick comeback. I stand there flatfooted wondering what is the right thing to say. In fact I had a recurring experience with a patient who left me so dumbfounded with her negative pronouncements, that I finally put a notecard in her chart so that the next time it happened I would be prepared with a snappy come back. I did a simular thing with my ex-mother-in-law whose backhanded "compliments" left me baffled for nearly 25 years.
The reason I am even talking about this is because last night a good friend of mine hurt my feelings. I was so shocked that he would do such a thing. Especially since he had asked me for the information I was trying to give him. I shut my mouth and gave him back monosyllables for the rest of our conversation. I don't think he even noticed. I fumed about it all evening and this morning sent him off an email about it. Even then I couldn't put into words how hurt, embarrassed, and bewildered I was at his actions.
This morning someone had shared on Facebook this video of Dane Cook talking about relationships. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvXQFZGbitE&feature=related
I remember the first time I saw it how much I laughed. I wish I could be that "brain ninja" that he talks about. I do the foot plant. I start to agree with everything that is said. I do the thing with the hand and then ... nothing. No timebomb set to go off in my opponent's mind.
I wonder if this is a skill which can be learned. Snappy Comebacks 101. I would sign up immediately.