Let’s cancel Cancel Culture with respect, love, and compassion for those who differ from us.
Professor Loretta J. Ross to the Rescue
I’m so glad that Professor Loretta J. Ross is teaching a course on canceling Cancel Culture at Smith College!
In case you might not know “calling out” is a major component of Cancel Culture.
For some, calling out feels so good when they embarrass others for saying something “stupid”. When you hear something stupid or offensive you often feel violated. It’s human to want to lash out.
But what about after you’ve done it. Often, there are feelings of remorse, your own sense of embarrassment, and thoughts of “maybe, I could’ve said that differently”.
I love Professor Ross’s musing that “…call-out culture has taken conversations that could have once been learning opportunities and turned them into mud wrestling…”
Two Types of Messiness
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a mud wrestling fan! Conflict resolution is messy enough without dragging folks through the mud.
There’s muddy messiness and productive messiness. Muddy messiness is calling people out for things, especially when you assume you know the ill intent of the other person.
Productive messiness is cathartic and healing. It’s wrestling with your doubts and questions about the other person’s intent. It’s messy because it’s not linear. When was the last time your emotions operated in a linear fashion?
Productively messy conversations are done in private. Productively messy conversations are akin to “Ouch-I’m Sorry-Let’s Discuss” conversations. When you are offended, call in the person, and say “OUCH, that offended me” in a calm tone. (So they can hear you.) When they can hear you, “THEY” usually will respond with “I’M SORRY!” Then you can begin the “LET’S DISCUSS” phase.
Two people who modeled this wonderfully, albeit, publicly are Will Smith and Janet Hubert. In a thirty-year period, they modeled both calling out and calling in. To see it in action, check out the link in this paragraph. Or if you want to read about it, click here.
The bottom-line is that they wrestled in the mud via accusations posted on the internet. Yet never talked to each other directly. “We” heard of Will taking the whole “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” cast to Hawaii during hiatus. That is everyone, but Aunt Viv/Janet Hubert. And then we saw the mud grenades flying on the internet, in interviews, etc.
Fast forward thirty years. There’s been a lot of growing individually. They come together for the”Ouch-I’m Sorry-Let’s Discuss”conversation. It was POWERFUL! She voiced her “OUCH”. He said “I’M SORRY”. Will said it in a way that was not defensive. He acknowledged his immaturity and issues that blocked him from seeing or asking about her pain. Their “LET’S DISCUSS” allowed them to talk about her hurts and losses. They reconciled.
As the Calming Communications Coach, I came away with 3 things:
- It’s never too late to resolve conflict
- You have to be calm and be able to understand yourself and your own pain to be able to hear someone else’s.
- I wish more people would hone their “calling in” skills.
For #1, it’s about setting your mind to just do it.
For #2 and #3, it’s about working with a therapist or coach to hone your calming and calling in skills.
Let’s be clear, The Calming Communications Coach (C3) is no therapist. But C3 does help you to understand what disturbs your calm. And we help you to load your toolbox with many strategies for calm calling in communications.
Here’s to your calmness in calling in those who disturb your calm!