This article was also posted on the Good Men Project.
Calling out has been used to get the right people to LISTEN.
It's both a form of social signaling (to garner attention towards a problem) and a way to get attention from the person who NEEDS to listen to the impact they had on the speaker, or someone the speaker loves,
or a community the speaker loves,
or an ideology the speaker loves,
or a philosophy the speaker loves.
Calling out is a powerful move. It uses the power of attention to focus efforts, values, beliefs, relatedness, and connection to focus attention on a problem to resolve it.
Unfortunately, this is also extremely VOLATILE power, as this focus does not last: it explodes from that point of focus. Because emotions, not reason, makes it expand in all directions without any need for tangible truth to expand, only emotional truth.
In other words, feelings are more important than facts.
Problem is, feelings are highly volatile while facts are solid. But there is a grey area: the interpretation of facts... based on feelings.
This is where the battle of feelings VS facts is waged. Look at any intense volatile conversation and you'll see this:
"You emotionally did THIS to me!"
"That's incorrect. I did NOT factually do THIS."
"I FEEL this because of what you did, therefore it is TRUE!"
"I did not factually do this to you, therefore it is FALSE!"
Rings a bell?
First everyone wants their subjective truth to be validated.
Second, nobody's subjective truth is easy to understand by everyone else, much less someone who feels attacked.
Third, nobody reacts well all the time to feeling attacked, which is also a subjective truth.
How effective is THAT approach?
And, what if the person calling out is only partially right? Or completely wrong?
How many people are on death row because of a wrong conviction? You think you're better than whoever called them out and you'll never make that mistake?
Think again. You're no more immune to being wrong than the next guy/gal. But like most people, you THINK you're better.
Yes you do.
Because you think you're morally better than those who disagree with you, and MOST DEFINITELY better than those you would or will call out.
Because you think your ways and values are better.
Because you think you're less likely to make mistakes, or you're more likely to see them and fix them, or, really, you're more likely to overlook them.
Guess what? Those you think you're better than believe that too.
So until you recognize that what you are doing is pushing your morality on someone else by making them wrong, you'll get into fights all the time. Because they will be pushing back --what else do you expect?
And think it's the best and only way to do it.
But what if there's another way? What if calling out is NOT about about calling what's wrong on the other side?
What if, instead, what you can call OUT is the VALUES that you think really need to be brought INTO the conversation, the situation, the conflict.
What if you asked yourself and others "What is MISSING from this conflict that will resolve it?"
And then be a f*ing LEADER and BRING IT TO THE TABLE.
Yes, there's emotions there.
I see so much calling out of anyone who falters or fucks up. And clearly, many do with great harm.
But calling out is easy.
What's hard is ACTUALLY bringing to the table what is missing.
This is what REPAIR is about: bringing to the table what is missing such that harm is healed, lessons are integrated and learned, boundaries are set in place, and so much more.
But first, let's start by CALLING OUT the VALUES that are needed to solve these conflicts.
So join the club and become a leader and bring those VALUES and everything else that comes with it to the table.
Yes I'm calling YOU out with my own medicine, my own values. Read this post again and you'll see.
We need more of you to lead.
Step up for more than just setting off the bomb.
Step up to become the focus on all that energy and make something useful happen with it.