Keep in mind that when difficult discussions happen, they have to be conducted in a way that people can hear what is being said. When an argument starts, we are no longer listening; it often becomes a shouting match and we are forced into a defensive mode. All logic is overridden in the heat of the moment. It boils down to who is the loudest and who can insult the worst. Anything that we can say in our defense will just not be heard. In that situation there isn’t much that we can do besides walk away. And given how this encounter turned out, who knows how it will go in the future?
Before I did my public coming out, I told my daughter and son, 7 or 8 close friends and my then department manager. My thought process was that I wanted to say what I needed to say, give people an opportunity to ask questions and avoid hearing this news by someone else. It often seems t me that in the absence of information, people make up their own. In this situation, they have been told. They can fabricate whatever information that they want, but they can’t say they haven’t been told.
But, what is always important is that everyone must figure out what course of action makes sense to them. We have to own, and be satisfied with, whatever we decide to do. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts, no One Size Fits All and no magic bullets here.
Conscious thought and deliberation is our friend.