Unable to Resolve a Dispute – Forever
Scene: A conversation between husband and wife. Instead of a discussion at the dinner table or in the family room, the following takes place as the wife is walking upstairs to bed, while the husband is in his office.
Wife (slightly yelling from upstairs): “You’re not billing for all the hours you’re putting into Company Y. Start submitting for all the work you’re doing!” (The exclamation point is part shouting / part exasperation).
Husband (to himself): I just lost a big client (Company X) last month, and therefore a large part of my income. I’ve done work for Company Y for several years and they’ve never hesitated paying my invoices. Increasing my billable hours might give them reason to rethink our relationship, and I might lose them, too!).
Husband (out loud): I’ll think about it. (lying – he’s already made up his mind).
Husband (in action): Submits a similar invoice as previous months (completely ignoring his wife’s advice).
Wife (next month): “You’re STILL not billing for all the hours …” etc., etc., etc.,
And the cycle repeats, with prolonged and awkward silences punctuated with periodic outbursts.
Jordan Peterson, author of “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos” equates the avoidance of such issues to “monsters hiding under the carpet”. Why avoid, when avoidance necessarily and inevitably poisons the future? Because the possibility of a monster lurks underneath all disagreements and errors.
His antidote for preventing such monsters flourishing, growing large in the dark, and then jumping up and devouring you when you least expect it is to “Take aim against a sea of trouble … Be precise in your speech.”
I know it’s bad not to resolve this “dispute”. I know silence not only “is not golden” – it’s toxic! Nonetheless, I remain silent. The question is WHY do I let this issue fester?