you must work at it. . .
one should leave the room.
It takes two to quarrel."
— Mamie Eisenhower
I was thinking about Dwight Eisenhower. I know what you’re thinking. . . that is such an odd thing. And, you’re right, it is an odd thing probably. I’m not even clear on exactly why I was thinking of him, but I remember a couple books on my shelf by his biographer, Stephen Ambrose, and I wanted to look at a bit of his life after his presidency. He was President when I was in grade school.
As I began reading, this quote above jumped off the page at me. I thought it was brilliant and so full of common sense. It reminds me of an old phrase that I heard many times when I was young, “it takes two to tango." I thought, of course. The way to stop a quarrel is for one to leave the room. It’s logical, but only partially true. The quarrel doesn’t stop by one leaving the room, it is merely postponed. It only stops when one lets go of the rope. But, I’m sure that’s what she meant anyway based on other things she was quoted as saying.
I suppose one could argue with the mirror image of themselves, but it has so little impact in comparison with a real quarrel with a real human being. It is so much like a tug-o-war game. And, all we need to is let go and leave, and there is no more energy for escalation. Someone quarrelling with you on the phone? Hang up and let go of the rope. By letting go of the rope, we need to let go of the issue. Begin immediately thinking uplifting thoughts about the other and watch what happens.
A Quarrel Is Fed Or Starved By Our Response.
Spread Some Joy Today–by choosing it moment by moment.