Deb VE foto 1

Deb Van Engelenhoven

Most of us tell our children or grandchildren to use their inside voice when trying to communicate with others. But I have noticed lately that most of us do not set that example when we are communicating with each other in the adult world.

It seems that if someone wants to share an opinion with others today that they bring their voices to such an increased volume level that nothing can really be heard or taken seriously that comes out of their mouths. At least, for me, all I hear is the anger in their tone of voice.

Not to be said that I have never raised my voice to someone else. I have. When I was young I was much smaller than everyone else. I thought that the only way I would be heard in that world above me was to talk at the highest volume level I could. Turned out that wasn’t the case.

The other children, I think, responded just the opposite way that I thought they would. So I became much softer spoken and focused on the content of what I was saying rather than the volume of my voice. Do I still raise my voice now and then, of course I do.

But, it seems to me that that this entire country is on the loudest setting possible when talking to each other. I truly think that they feel like I did when I was that small child. That if they can just talk louder and angrier over the other person that they will be victorious in changing people’s minds about things. Couldn’t be farther from the truth, right?

You know what I am talking about. I probably don’t even need to give you an example. But I am going to. Recently I had an opportunity to hear two ladies talking about our recent hearings about our Supreme Court justice nominee and how that is going.

It was quite evident that they were on opposite ends of the issue when it comes to how this should be handled. Oh, my goodness. I thought there was going to be a catfight.

Neither one of them was listening to each other. They were only trying to yell louder and louder about their point of view. Their words were landing on deaf ears.

The person that I am wanted to walk up to them, enter into their conversation and try to mediate somehow. Not sure that would have worked either so probably better that I did not.

But I would offer up the following words (not my own) about how talking softly to each other. These words are from Andy Rooney.

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.