In recent news, Sharon Osbourne, co-host of the television gabfest show “THE TALK” and wife of rock star Ozzy, has entered into a firestorm of controversy regarding her support, comments and interaction with another co-host of the show, Ms. Sheryl Underwood. Mrs. Osbourne stood up for her friend, Piers Morgan and former co-host of Good Morning Britain, and his hateful and dare we say racist reaction to the interview between The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey. Mrs. Osborne challenged Ms. Underwood’s perceptions about Mr. Morgan’s response to the royal couple in a disrespectful, dismissive, antagonistic and “Karen” like manner.
Rehashing the specifics of the controversy is not my focus today even though there is a lot that one could say. I also had some criticism of the Oprah interview for a range of reasons but after my own recent “the talk” moment, I felt compelled to express some of my thoughts as it pertains to how CHANGE can occur when people are able to freely express their views no matter how difficult, untrUthful, harsh or vulgar as long as there is opportunity for respectful debate of perspectives. Since consequences ultimately follow these types of discussions, it is precisely this type of conversation when one is often forced to look deeply within to examine issues (beliefs, actions and words) and their impact on others. They also tell about a lot about US personally whether we can admit it or not. Interestingly, it is in these very contentious moments when many are unable to “listen…Linda” to the other without harsh judgment or a negative reaction.
At times, I have been able to listen and disagree without an emotional reaction or resorting to disrespectful language or conduct during “the talk”. For the sake of this blog, however, I must confess the occasional moments of losing my sh!T falling into passionate anger using all my favorite curse words with facts to make a point. Even if one has high moral ground for “the talk” once you start using profanity the focus often shifts in unintended ways. These moments have not been my proudest but I am still flawed and trying to be a better human. As a result, I learned some important lessons about strategies to deescalate conflicts especially if triggered or wounded (avoidance perhaps LOL) for the sake of peace or resolution if possible. During “the talk” encounters, one has to be ready or “prayed up” in order to be able to respond, not react, by acknowledging the perceptions and/or experiences of another with wisdom and understanding. One also has the right to review and assess any facts presented during these discussions for legitimacy including accuracy, relevancy and intention. Everything people express as their trUth may not be THE trUth. People are sometimes willingly ignorant, hateful, dishonest or completely blind to their own contributions to any conflict and how words or actions impact others. There is nothing one can do in this situation other than to let go of the outcome or the possibility of a harmonious resolution.
Yet, “the talk”, even when a disagreement arrises and no matter how painful, gives US the opportunity to evaluate situations with more clarity for future interactions. With time and if we are able to “listen…Linda” with compassion and the need to gain understanding – – and not to be right – – we might learn something valuable about the person(s) we are dealing with, ourselves and our relationships. We definitely learn something about BOUNDARIES (see my definition in words matter) – – especially the wisdom to understand acceptable standards of behavior, communication and treatment as they relate to lines of respect. As humans, we have all been indoctrinated by our educational, familial and societal systems since childhood with beliefs and behaviors that might not serve US or others long term. Eventually, we are expected to grow into adulthood with information to navigate this world which includes how we view and treat people appropriately. Therefore, “the talk” gives everyone the chance to go within to tweak or completely CHANGE for the better – – or worse – – if so desired. This applies to ALL parties – – mother, daughter, son, wife, husband, sister, brother, or friend (you get the point). Sadly, some life lessons were never taught correctly or learned so we carry forth inappropriate behaviors and beliefs that inhibit healthy relationships into adulthood.
Finally, some don’t like to mention this but when the “the talk” happens, humans sometimes decide that a relationship is not worth keeping. Relationships (family, romantic, occupational, friendships etc.) shouldn’t be consistently abusive mentally, emotionally and definitely not physically even though we occasionally hurt each other’s feelings. Sometimes the best thing one can do is to sever a relationship with forgiveness but not reconciliation. It is a very personal decision to do so but this is an example of CHANGE for the better as everyone involved is given an opportunity to grow from the experience without causing further pain. So let’s salute “THE TALK” for bringing this challenging human dynamic to the forefront once more. We now have an opportunity for more plain, frank, honest, loving, direct, hard&black trUthful talk with those we care for, with those we don’t or even with individuals who do not care to understand US. It is our choice to engage or not. At the very least, we will all gain wisdom about BOUNDARIES and more clearly OVER-stand where we truly STAND with the other.