Adults, basically, operate in one of three modes.
Parent - this is where, without thought, you channel your parents words.
In my case, this will be when I address my partner with such gems as who has left this light on? What ARE you doing? Do you ever think?
None of the comments or questions serve any purpose.
Another mode is child mode. An example of this is when a 'superior' goes into parent mode and you go into child mode to avoid holding the 'superior' to account.
Parent mode boss, 'why by did you do that, you should have done this?'
My child mode response,'erm, I am not sure.'
When someone is in parent mode, the entire conversation is pointless, so don't concern yourself with it.
Child mode is no better. Someone may ask me a perfectly straight forward question and I immediately turn into an eight year old boy. My response will be something similar to, ' it isn't my fault, you always pick on me.' I did this Monday morning at work. I am nearly fifty.
When someone is in child mode, further conversation is pointless.
Let them calm down.
So what is left? The only productive conversation is when both adults are in adult mode.
It isn't all serious. I often go into child mode, deliberately, to enjoy a silly joke, to have a silly discussion, to have a laugh over something deadly serious or trivially unimportant, to make someone smile, to enjoy a cake, to ease tension, to have some fun and enjoy being alive, to thoroughly engage with people and lower people's inbuilt defences. To enhance relationships but mainly because I can.
Just sharing what I learned reading two books by a dead author. I will credit him in a future Accountability post. Thanks Eric.