It Takes Two to Tango
by Deb DeArmond
The jabs continued over several days. An accusation here, a return volley there. A disagreement more comfortable conducted online. Social media might provide the appearance of distance, but the heat was still discernible.
Each response seemed to up the ante, and then others waded in and decided to play. Some defending player A and some speaking on behalf of player B. There were some who urged discretion along with those looking to incite the riot to a fevered pitch.
An online message doesn’t have a tone of voice—until the reader assigns it one. I’m not sure when that thought occurred to me the first time, but I believe it to be true. Come on, somebody bow out, disconnect. It was like a train wreck, you didn’t want to keep watching, but it kept drawing a crowd. I just kept hoping somebody would blink.
A fight requires two participants willing to keep the bitterness and badmouthing alive. At any time, either person can walk away.
“Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down. As charcoal for embers and wood for fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife,” Proverbs 26:20-21 (CSB).
Walking away doesn’t mean you win or I’m wrong. It means I value the relationship more than the win. I’m withdrawing because I choose you. It’s not easy to do, but it’s what the Word instructs, and God promises that when we stop adding fuel to the fire, it dies. Things may not be resolved—there are perhaps hurt feelings and wounds to deal with. But the heat turned down means the firestorm sputters out.
Don’t ever forget…it takes two to do the dance. Wrangle the tango and sit this one out!
Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship and conflict resolution. A writer and popular professional speaker, her new book Bumper Sticker Be-Attitudes is a humor-tinged devotional designed for the busy believer who’s hungry for Jesus, while reflecting on who He has called us to be. Find her on her website Family Matters www.debdearmond.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDebDeArmond