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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Best Defense Is NOT Being Offensive

Two “hunh?” experiences last week.
A friend was meeting another friend for the first time to discuss an opportunity. While prepping for the meeting he got off into, “Well if he even thinks of saying that, I’m gonna…” building a fantasy disaster.
I thought of that smart guy who said “of all the horrible occurrences in my life, very few of them actually happened.”
If I expect the worst, anybody around me who is paying attention knows it and adjusts. Every time.
Then there was a reader who got quite exercised by my ceaselessly promoting my financial business. Wow! I learned a long time ago that there are words people and numbers people and I am most definitely a words people.
I searched for some other posts from the guy to get an idea of where he was coming from…couldn’t find any other posts. Looks like his first comment in this marvelous new world was a flame. I am so sorry.
Thinking about it, I’m going to deny that the best defense is being offensive. Sure you hurt people when you catch them by surprise, but it’s not sustainable, and I can’t think of a valuable lesson I learned from someone expressing their anger.


  1. Amen. Claritiy of any message is lost in anger. There is no improvement in process or surge of intellectual enlightment when anger comes into the picture.

  2. I've been hopin' for a surge of intellectual enlightenment since puberty! Well said!

  3. My experience is that firing anything in anger offers limited benefits at best. Patience, planning, and considered replies always yield better results becuase it gives you time to facilitate a useful outcome.

    The challenge is building the self-discipline to operate that way. This is inherently difficult for people. Our age of Twitters, email, and instant messaging increases that difficulty by orders of magnitude since we can spout a communication instantly at any time.

    Now add the general observation that critical thinking skills are disappearing from our populace and the return of literal interpretations of important documents (take your pick...), and you get even more opportunities for flaming as the new normal for communication.

    Why can't we all just get along..?