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July 10, 2015

Human Husbandry, Part 1

Hal photo outside Feb2012

“I am firm. You are obstinate. He is a pig-headed fool.” (Katharine Whitehorn)

Learning to represent yourself well, especially in difficult conversations, is among life’s greatest pursuits. It takes careful pause, so you don’t rashly react. It takes careful speech, so your words are clear and unmistakable. Then it takes another careful pause, so you can avoid saying more than is warranted.

“Honey, I am not telling you how to act, because you’re a grown woman, and I love you. What I am saying is that when you yell at our kids like that, it makes it harder for me to support you.”

Sounds easy when it’s laid out. What makes it hard in real practice is doing all of the above while the receiver of your “authentic self representation” thinks you’re just being a stubborn ass. Or too dogmatic. Or a pig-headed fool.

Hold yourself firm. They may accuse you of being a farm animal, but learning to calmly represent your truest self to those closest to you is actually among the most human activities of all.

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