Rabbi Mica’el Shushan, הרב מיכאל שושן – has a series on shalom bayit / peace at home. [In program 52] He quotes the pasuk – “The end of his act – is in his thought in the beginning” – The verse – means that what Hashem intended from the beginning happened at the end. He gave another interpretation – the end of your act you should consider from the beginning.
He gave an example: Let’s say a man comes home and takes off his shoes. He sits down to eat. His wife comes in “What are you doing?! You know how much I hate when you don’t put away your shoes?! You can’t make a small act to put them away?!” She thinks he’s going to change with her tirade. Really he is not. What will happen?
Excuse the comparison – but a scientist did an experiment. Every time he would feed a dog – he would ring a bell before. After some time – when he would just ring the bell – the dog would start salivating. It became a physical reaction.
When one spouse or parent starts nagging. The person on the receiving end will start associating the nagging voice with negativity and thus have a physical reaction to ignore the the nagger. The voice of that person will trigger ignoring – even when they speak positively.
The talking person should consider what message the sound of their voice provokes. They should consider what works with the other person and do what works.
Once Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi invited his students for a Meal. He served Tongue – a delicacy. The students served themselves the softest pieces of tongue. He remarked “You should learn from your actions. Just like you selected the softest pieces of tongue – when talking select the softest words.”
Almost all things can be said in a nice way or the opposite. Choosing the right time, the right place, the right atmosphere, and the right tone of voice will help the message to pass.
A person wrote a letter to his father. “Dear Father. It is cold and I’m hungry. Please send money!” His father asked a person to read him the letter. The man read it in a rough tone of voice. His father said – that’s the way he speaks to me?! – I’m not sending anything. A while passed. His wife came into the room. He asked her to read the letter. She read it in a soft tome of voice. He said “If that’s how he is talking I’ll send him some money.”
When texting a person doesn’t hear or see the other’s expressions. So texts can cause escalating tensions. It happened to me more than one. So I picked up the phone and talked directly to the person – with the intention of dissipating the apparent tension. We left off on good terms.
In talking – remember to think of what you will say and the tone of voice before you talk.
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