Admitting you are a Coercion Ninja is the first step to recovery. Say it with me, “Hi, my name is ____, and I am a Coercion Ninja.”
Communication. We either think we have it all together, or we know we do not.
5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
As I have shared before, Ron and I are completing a MAPP’s (Model Approach to Partnered Parenting) course to foster and adopt. Last night was the most pertinent information to date for yours truly. We discussed proactive parenting versus reactive parenting. In reactive parenting, we learned the art of coercion…and why we should flee this communication practice.
Perhaps you, like myself, are a unknowning black-belt coercion ninja?
Simply stated, coercion involves trying to change a person’s behavior by casting guilt, humiliation, fear, discomfort, or other negative feelings.
Coercive Communication Practices Include:
- Questioning-rapid fire 20 question style, “Where were you? Who were you with? Why didn’t you call? What were you doing?”
- Sudden Subtraction “You just lost your_______.” “Don’t count on getting _____ now.”
- Threatening-“You will lose the car.” “I will call the cops.” “Don’t count on me helping you again.”
- Silent Treatment
- Telling on your offender to others
Do you use any of the above in communicating with your children, family, co-workers, or sales-clerks? I certainly am guilty of a few of these. In fact, I think my family would make a great case study.
Perhaps, like me, the question is, “I know we can talk…but can we communicate?”
Coercive communication leads to unhealthy, unhappy and strained relationships. This leads to suspected ninja moves behind even sweet, well-meaning actions.
The Bible Says
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
1 Peter 2:23
The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
The words of a wise man’s mouth win him favor, but the lips of a fool consume him.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Raise the Risk Challenge:
Identify 2-3, or if you are like me, 4-5, coercive communication practices that you employ and confess these to God and a trusted friend, spouse, or family member.
Meditate on the above scriptures and commit one to memory.
Pray that God will teach you to communicate clearly and lovingly with all that you encounter.