When I became a manager for a nationwide photography company, I was placed in the middle of a season with veteran photographers, and a whole passel of attitude. My stress response is to get blusterous, and in true fashion, I said, “If you don’t want to do your job, there’s the door.”
The room fell silent, and I stood in front of the whole staff, and I knew at that moment two things were a possibility: Either I would be trampled by a stampede of escaping photographers, or they would realize I was just saber rattling and never take me serious. I kind of wished they trampled me.
Once you make that statement the recipient has two responses, either cut tail and run or dig in their heels. Neither offers a satisfactory resolution.
When you say, “My way or the Highway,” you are making yourself preeminent, and even though preeminence has its place, it does not have its place in love. We have a lot of people in this world trying to dominate, trying to be better than the Jones’ and trying to make their way the only way.
The only issue with this attitude is that we miss out on collaboration. When we think that there is no other person that can have a better idea of what needs to be done, we squash other’s ideas. What’s more, people stop listening.
When I was first married to my wife, I was not very kind. We dated, and I had the typical dating face. I was kind, soft spoken, gentle, compassionate and nurturing. After we said “I do,” I turned into Mr. Hyde.
Kelly do this, Kelly do that, you need to obey me. I chuckle now, because I realize what a “Jack Wagon” I was back then, and how patient Kelly was with me.
She reminded me that Eve was not taken from Adam’s foot, so she would not be stepped on, and he was not taken from his head, so she would be over him; she was taken from his side - to be beside him.
When you yield and give “right of way,” you are telling the other person. “I respect you, I want to listen to you and I hope you will listen to me.” You level the playing field, so that both of you can be equals. Because love does not insist on its own way; this is one way to show your love.
Let me break off into a tangent right now, I know I am throwing the “L” word around a lot. This can be very uncomfortable for people, because they feel that word is special. That word is special, and I am not trying to misuse it: However, if we are not showing love, and in black and white world, we show the opposite, which is hatred.
So don’t insist on your own way, it might give you the feeling of power, and you might feel like you are in control, but you might find yourself walking alone on that very same highway.