Friday, October 05, 2007

Adult Development

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In my Internet course, Dealing with Difficult People, I give a lot of examples of responses in conversation to use when you are being attacked that keep it neutral and keep the situation from escalating.

Here is a good example of that from the book No Ordinary Time by Goodwin, about the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. At the time (World War II), Eleanor wrote a daily sndicated newspaper column entitled "My Day."

The scenario is that violence and rioting had broken out in Detroit, and Mrs. Roosevelt, a human rights activist was accused. The Jackson Daily News wrote that Eleanor Roosevelt was "morally responsible" for the riot. "It is blood on your hands, Mrs. Roosevelt," they declared on June 22. "You have been personally proclaiming and practicing social quality at the White HOuse and wherever you go, Mrs. Roosevelt. A Detroit resident wrote to the president saying "Mrs. Roosevelt ... [is] somewhat guilty of the race riots due to their coddling of negroes."

Writes Goodwin:

Eleanor responded with composure. "I suppose when one is being forced to realize that an unwelcome change is coming, one must blame it on someone or something," she replied

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