You may feel an obligation to take a stand for those being spoken down to, belittled, or treated unjustly. You want to be the protector or warrior who fights for that person, animal, or the overall environment.
It can be difficult to navigate controversial topics and stand up for what you think is right, especially if your personal beliefs do not align with the person or group of people you’re speaking to. Discussions can quickly turn into arguments with people choosing sides and even making personal attacks. Suddenly, your desire to stick to your personal beliefs is at war with your equal pursuit of peace.
How can you achieve both? Follow these tips to achieve a peaceful and balanced conversation.
1. Be Aware of Personal EmotionsYou're emotionally attached to the topic that has sparked the desire to speak up. That’s not a bad thing. Use your awareness to control your actions and words. Ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I feel so strongly about this particular subject?
- What would I like the other party or person to comprehend?
- Am I speaking opinions from a place that is programmed or in present awareness?
- What emotion am I feeling?
2. Steer Clear of Personal AttacksOne personal attack can turn a touchy conversation into an argument. You might think you know why this person is taking a specific stance. Maybe it’s based upon conversations with others who know the individual or even a stereotype. Asking questions will create a bridge of understanding and respect. Usually another person will recognize that you’re being sincere and want to understand their point of view and personal feelings. Hopefully this will also encourage some questions from them as well.
You never know what another person is going through internally. A person who already has stress, sadness, or anger built up from another challenge in life is much more likely to react with negativity. Perhaps, you’re this person.
3. What Chakra is Controlling this Conversation?Knowing what chakra is controlling the conversation can make you more aware and help you approach a conversation peacefully. Here’s a full description and color chart of chakras.
- Root Chakra: This chakra is responsible for our survival. Fight or flight response is used. If you are choosing to have a heated discussion you obviously did not run. So are you in fight mode?
- Sacral Chakra: The creative chakra could provide some creative approaches for calmness, understanding, and breakthrough.
- Solar Plexus: This is the energy center that controls your personal power, ego, and self-discipline. A moment inward at this chakra is useful for controlling your personal anger and words you may later regret saying. Remember that true personal power comes from within.
- Heart: Are you providing a loving approach to this conversation? This doesn't mean you have to tell the other person you love them; it means that you are speaking on the topic from a loving place.
- Throat: This chakra plays a vital role as you speak from a place of passion. Is that passion being expressed clearly? You might think your words are clear and to the point, when in reality they do not resonate the same to the one you are speaking with. Instead of repeating the same sentences over and over, think of a new way to say them. This is where the throat and sacral chakra can work together.
- Third Eye: The third eye chakra plays the important role of intuition. Focusing on this chakra during a heated discussion can help you tune in to your higher self. Allowing the Universe to guide your words.
- Crown: The crown is the highest of our human form—the cosmic consciousness that is you as well as everything else. Placing attention here is a good way to use the energy of oneness. Remember you and the other person or people involved in this conversation are indeed all one. Why did you create this person to have this conversation on this particular day?
4. Simple MindfulnessMost of us are aware of what starts, drives, and escalates the fire in heated discussions. Just because you are aware, doesn't mean you think of them in the moment. Become mindful of:
- Body language
- Tone of voice or statement
- Personal Pitta (fire, heat that can take control)
5. BreathingBreathing will help keep the energy in the room calm. Take control of the vibrations around you.
We have all walked into a room after a debate and felt the thickness. You have unlimited power to control this. Breathe, as you give others their time to speak. Take slow breaths, in and out through the nose. With each breath out, think of positivity and understanding filing the space.
6. The Greatness of ChaosThe chaos you see in the world may leave you feeling hopeless. This stress can flow over into your personal life, causing heated debates within your home.
Try to recall this quote from Deepak Chopra, “Every great change is preceded by chaos” when you’re feeling down. Accept the chaos as fuel for the change you desire.
This may all take some practice. Each step requires you to pull yourself from the conversation periodically. All it takes is a few seconds at a time. Creating a personal goal of mindfulness will spark understanding.
No matter your cause, passion, or personal relationships, understanding one another can create unity. Even if the conversation ends with agreeing to disagree, with understanding we can all create a more balanced, peaceful place to reside together.
Face the emotions and questions that arise without trying to avoid them. Being spiritual doesn't mean you have to always be sweet, calm, and in agreement. You are allowed to stand tall, take your stance and be spiritual all simultaneously. Others will respect your bravery and authenticity.