The process of public consultation has been subverted by many community groups to the point where “consultation” really means that a special interest group is going to demand air time to vent their concerns. They will typically use any open forum to vent their impotent rage against whatever it is they are so fundamentally opposed to…simple things like affordable medical care for all citizens, or where to build a new school. They will use the process of consultation so that they wear down their opposition until it is too exhausting to carry on with the plan, thereby “winning” by default. Their opposition, usually the voice of reason, gives up and “goes home.”
Interestingly, this technique is now being deployed on the micro-field. It can be seen in action in many households. Typically the process begins with a comment from your opposition to the tune of, “We need to talk about these sort of things.” (This is the beginning of the “consultation process.”)
When you hear your partner speak these words, what you are really hearing is, “I don’t like your idea, we are not going to do that.” At this point, some lesser informed will attempt to engage in the “public consultation” process with the faint hope that reason will rise up and vanquish the knee-jerk, emotional reaction.
Keep dreaming. “Reason” rarely rules.
However, there is a way to engage in the “public consultation process/we need to talk about this” scene and still move forward with your well-thought-out and ever-so- reasonable plan. Keep reading below.
First of all, do engage in the “we need to talk about these things” conversation. Perhaps it is even wise to open this stage of the dialogue far in advance of your need to act date…maybe a month before. Yes this move flies in the face of what you feel is the right thing to do…typically put off the pain until the last minute. But do as I say, open the dialogue a month or more in advance. And actively engage in that dialogue. Use logic and reason to enlighten your partner. Use examples of previous successes that you have brought home. But know that you have lost this discussion.
However, at the conclusion of your dialogue, now pay attention and listen carefully, you must use these words when ending the dialogue; “Well, I hear what you are saying.” Walk over to your partner, give them a hug, AND THEN WALK AWAY. If you have a dog, take the dog out for a crap. If you have a compost bucket, go empty it, clean the cat shit box, but do something to get out of the dialogue. It is over.
If she persists in carrying on the dialogue, repeat, “Look, I heard you. I understand what you are saying. This conversation is over now.”
And then do not bring the subject up again until the day you want to go pick up your new motorcycle or sports car. At that point you might say, “Hey, I have to go down to the motorcycle dealer and pick up my new bike. Do you want to give me a ride down there?”
Of course you can expect to feel the fury of your partner not having been consulted. But in the most sincere voice possible say to her or him, “But sweetheart, we did talk about this. Don’t you remember…”
So now I have to go pick up my new motorcycle…see you later!!