This was a question I was asking myself as I listened to someone tell a roomful of people that they don’t know anything about what they do. For me, I immediately shut down, realizing that even if I should speak or try to have a discourse with them, they would not hear me. The irony was that the purpose of the meeting was to learn about how to collaborate and build good working relationships.
Once I recognized that they just needed to feel like they had a voice and needed to be heard (not necessarily by me, but by what/who I represented-a wound from their past), I was able to let go and be silent. However, does that give them the right to immediately through me into the same category as the other negative experiences they had? And also disrespect me without even taking the time to get to know me?
All of this brings me back to the simple desire for us to be understood and empathize with one another. Our world would be a much better place if we could all see things from more than one perspective. How do we do this? Listen. But also share with respect and patience. However, there are also times when one needs to be noisy and act with immediacy; this too needs to be done with respect and specificity. Once we start throwing around generalities at a large majority, we will most likely not be heard.
So how can we share our wounds in a respectful way which does not negatively impact new and potential relationships? How can we start each relationship with a clean slate? We need to figure this out because our future depends on it.