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Daily Lift #243

When It's Over, Let It Remain Over

In the classic ethical work, Orchos Tzadikim (ch.21), we find stated, "If two people quarreled and afterward made peace, neither should later say to the other, ‘The reason I behaved as I did is because you did this and that to me.' Even if the person saying this does not intend to resume the quarrel, such a remark is apt to rekindle the dispute, since the other person will probably retort, ‘No, it was really your fault.'"

It's often true that after a dispute both people blame the other not only for what the other person said, but even for what they themselves have said.

"I'm not usually the type of person who speaks or acts this way. And since I did speak and act this negatively when interacting with you, it's your fault that I did so. I wouldn't have spoken this way or acted this way if it hadn't been for you."

The need to justify ourselves is strong. Even if no one else is present, we want the other person to know that he is at fault and we weren't. But we need to overcome this pattern in order to prevent the continuation of a quarrel that has already subsided.

(from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin's book: Harmony with Others, p.88,

See more Daily Lifts on the topic of Arguments


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Visitor Comments: 1

(1) David Greenberg, January 23, 2010 2:53 PM

He made me do it

This reminds me of an unfortunate event with my son. He was fighting with another boy, bad enough that a police detective was sent to our home. When the detective asked my son, why? My son said he made me do it. The detective's reply was no one makes you do anything. He went on to say that this was a common reply made by people doing bad things to others. This reminds me of what is said above about faulting others for making you do something. My thoughts on this fault thing is that we all are responsible for our actions and we need to take that responsibility. Like no one makes you do anything!

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