Heartwings says, “Gently ignoring a situation can help soothe troubled waters.”
In the interests of peace, it is often advisable to turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to some of the unimportant yet annoying sources of conflict in a relationship. For instance, my mother resented it that my father did not want her to ever wear black. His mother, after the fashion of her day, wore black for seven years after my grandfather died of the terrible flu that ravaged the American soldiers and many others who were overseas at the end of World War One. Young at the time, my father had grown to intensely dislike black attire. Perhaps it reminded him of the loss of his father; I do not know and never asked him.
My mother was patient about this, as well as many other things that were not agreeable to her in their life together. To turn a blind eye is to avoid seeing, a deaf ear to avoid hearing what might otherwise be a source of irritation. However, doing this may also build resentment toward the perpetrators. It is sometimes difficult to walk the line between giving too little attention and giving too much. One must ask, is this situation important enough to make a fuss about or is it something that can be overlooked?
Here it might be good to take note of one’s feelings and to pay attention to them. It must be decided whether the annoyance is strong enough to prompt a response or not. If not, one can let it slide. If so, one can speak up. Sometimes the unaddressed feelings can build up and cause a problem or an argument. Sometimes which is worse, they create a ‘blowback,’ causing resentment that turns into anger and even sabotage. When one is trying to be nice, it might be all too easy to ignore the very real feelings of dismay that will turn into something worse when treated with a blind eye or a deaf ear. It seems important to allow one’s feelings about something uncomfortable to be mentioned rather than ignored, when there is danger of a buildup to the point of explosion.
For instance, I remember many years ago when I was a teenager, chiding my parents about their prejudicial language. They had grown up with it and to them using the ‘N’ word, for instance was perfectly normal. They did not take kindly to my efforts to correct them. Still, it was important to me to do so because I felt strongly about it.
Honesty is indeed the best policy; however, you need not be blunt nor simply complaining about something insignificant. The secret to success in speaking up is to not play the blame game, but to be truthful about your feelings. When you feel strongly, when your feelings are authentic, and when you phrase them in such a way as to convey this, your rate of success will be much improved.