Do I Answer or Not?
The important thing is to have a heart attentive to people.
Author: P. Fernando Pascual, L.C | Source: Catholic.net
A hurtful word is said. The attack is direct, against myself or against an idea for which I stand for. Do I answer or not?
One can be wrong to respond because it might make things worse. As in other cases not responding causes damage: there are silences that are a sign of cowardice or complicity.
To deal with this issue, it is worth thinking about others. Do you have a healthy personality, open to listening and self-criticism? Or will it be someone obsessively closed in their views, perhaps a personality who yearns only to impose himself on others?
Then you have to look at why you did the attack. What did you want to achieve?
There would be many other points to keep in mind: whether it was a passing thing or reflects a settled way of thinking; if you have deep grudges that you can hardly heal; If he really wanted to give me a hand even though he didn't do it the best way, etc.
Then, it's time to analyze what's best in each case. If I anticipate that my answer will go into a vacuum, generate more anger, open a swirl of counterattacks and cause time to be wasted, isn't it better to remain silent?
On the other hand, if I sense that my answer might open a space to serene confrontation and help the other understand my point of view and for me to start self-criticism and understand the other better, is it not the time to build a dialogue that clarifies things and leads to an improvement in relations?
The time has come to face the issue. Before you put your hands on the keyboard, take your mobile and call, or start a face-to-face dialogue with each other, you have to think carefully, even ask God for help to be prudent and charitable.
Learning to speak and learn to shut up are two difficult but very important arts. Sometimes you get it wrong by default and sometimes you get it right. Beyond mistakes, the important thing is to have a heart attentive to people, which seeks, beyond the offense received, what may be better for all.