A Gentle Answer
Have you noticed that human beings tend to mimic the emotions of people across from them? The reason we do this is because of mirror neurons in our brains. They allow us to sympathize and also to mirror what other people feel.
For instance, if someone gets angry with you, you get angry back. If somebody is really sad and you hang around that person long enough, you start to get sad. In the same way, when people raise their voice against you, you usually raise your voice back. Then they raise their voice higher. Then you raise your voice higher. Then pretty soon it’s escalated, and your emotions are out of control.
But the Bible says you can choose how you respond:
Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
Let me give you a little tip that will save you a lot of heartache and conflict in your life: When other people raise their voices, lower yours—
In your marriage,
In your parenting,
In your friendships, and at work.
That’s called strength under control.
Gentleness defuses conflict. It de-escalates anger.
Here’s a good verse you’re going to need someday—maybe even this week.
“If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes” (NLT).
When your boss tears into you or your spouse raises his or her voice in anger, realize it may not have anything to do with you. Instead of getting defensive, practice gentleness. Let your gentle answer disarm the other person and defuse the situation.
～Rev. Jireh Lin 林以勒牧師～