Conversation Control

By Molly Barrow

Do you passively wait for a good opportunity to jump in to the conversation? Do your good ideas remain unspoken thoughts because you cannot get a word in edgewise? Do you allow your competition to steal your Conversation Control?

Conversation Control is an artful dance of words, gestures and body language that steers the listener in the direction that the speaker wishes to take them. Certainly a rude and manipulative speaker has no intention of giving you the floor. But, are you losing conversation control with everyone - even your dear friends and family? How did this happen?

Repressing the rebellious was once the design and purpose of schools when the English and religious leaders granted education to the people. The limited learning provided some facts and memorization, basic math and English but reserved the philosophy, critical thinking and science for the elite. Rote repetition left over from the English school system still reigns as an early elementary mind-numbing practice in America. American schools have a basic flaw. The initial school design was to be is administration-friendly rather than child-friendly.

Any assertiveness is considered a problem for the school system and is punished right along with aggression. The removal of creative classes of art, dance and music to barely an hour per week creates more strain on the children. The most passive, inhibited and frightened children are rewarded and praised. The normal, active child is too often labeled attention deficit and medicated into a stupor to be sure that the school runs quietly and efficiently as mandated by the state. Rebel teachers are also quickly removed as any deviation from the norm may reduce federal and state funding. The schools become slaves to funding and more of a house of discipline than joyful learning.

Children in school must give up both negative aggressive behavior and essential assertive behavior in the current American school system. Take a happy-go-lucky, curious, vocal child and place them in hard metal chairs in rows of thirty five children. Force them to be quiet and sit still, eat, drink, urinate and defecate when the teacher chooses for seven hours. If a child tries to act like a normal child, they are sent, as in the Victorian age, for an emotional caning at the Principal’s office.

Reports of the terrorists training camps reveal their schools teach extremely young boys to be completely compliant to their commanders. The children are kept at their desks for long hours with few breaks and learn anti-American propaganda. Soon their spirits are broken and they become machines for the commander’s bidding, who often uses drugs to help control their minds and convince them to sacrifice their young lives for a better life after death. Meanwhile, the commanders live on. Most Americans would call that child abuse.

Repressing normal excitement, curiosity and exuberance in American children often results in high levels of rebellion, self medication with drugs and alcohol - just to stand it or a high drop out rate. Those students, who endure and suppress their assertive qualities, do well within the system, object to nothing and receive their diplomas. Once employed, however, they may sit at their desks waiting to be told what to do.

Often severely taken advantage of by their employers, these passive new workers do not object to extreme conditions, poor treatment, low pay or verbal abuse. Any attempt to speak out can be easily quashed by the more aggressive. These workers are serving the needs of great companies and organizations as worker ants. Sometimes as late as a decade, or worse case, a lifetime, they may begin to awaken and resent their no-progress jobs. They are in pain and want change but have been well-trained to just take it. They have not learned to take Communication Control.

In a wider arena, powerful men in government act quickly to stop assertive conversations that object to their questionable decisions. Misread as strength by many Americans, their policies of intimidation, threats of impending doom and destruction, and stacking of the Congressional deck can successfully silenced the public “watchdog” media and opposition. American adults must object strongly to any attempts to force a return to passive elementary school behavior that enables the Administration to lead Americans where they want to take us, rather than where we vote to go. Americans, as a nation, should never lose their Conversation Control.

Years of hunched submissive shoulders may feel some pain and ache as they straighten and push back to raise ones head high enough to see, really see. Each individual has an inherent right to exist, find their voice and vote according to their values. In the collective conversation, you may even have to interrupt. People who have hearing loss may try to talk over you, so for some people you may have to speak loudly and clearly to be heard at all. Your opinion may be wrong or you may be right, but be sure your opinion counts. Let no one steal your assertiveness, freedom or pursuit of happiness, or that of your child’s. Let your voice be heard at home, in the school system, at work and politically, with your vote. Take back your conversation control and hold it dearly.

Read other articles and learn more about Dr. Molly Barrow.

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