Because we are easily influenced, we must
monitor which attitude acceptor sites we maintain.
I have been sucked into conversations that seemed to be a vortex into a conversational hell. Without being defensive, I tried to insist that I was saying X even though they took it personally. They still would not hear me. At some point, I had to just accept that no amount of words or perfectly chosen words could convince the person otherwise.
The truth is they only had one kind of acceptor site. None of my positive substrates had any place to latch on. It was a fools task of continuing the crazy conversation. So I desisted. I, to the best of my ability, attempted to convey sensitivity to their feelings and thoughts as well as points of similarities. That's all I could do.
So what now?
I look to what I can change in myself. I monitor the kinds of acceptor sites I entertain in my thought and emotional life. Let me tell ya~ it isn't always easy or pleasant. My aim is not to change minds but to be heard and coexist. If anything at all, I can win people over to God without a word (loosely from, 1 Peter 3:1 ).
As I listened to the Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, I came to a new understanding. It is from my own pride that I should attempt to change others, much less their mind. Actually, that is God's job and in his time. I need to allow God the space to change people as he sees fit- include myself.
What about good conversation?
I will be on the lookout for people who are open to conversation topics that interest me AND stick to people who have multiple types of acceptor sites. Unless I feel drawn toward knocking my head into a wall over and over and over again... (smile)