This read may offer a new framework for understanding why limiting the emotionality of others…
Tricia Morgan

Thanks, that’s a good point to mention. I hope people aren’t reading my comment as a directive to be ‘tone police’ in their conversations going forward, as I agree that tone policing is not a sign of a healthy discussion.

I’ll try to clarify what I’m advocating, and how it differs and relates to ‘tone policing’, as described in that article.

Again, it comes back to empathy.

If we express ourselves too aggressively in a conversation (like with something we are emotional/passionate about), it can undermine other voices in that conversation. It can make others feel like they are not receiving any empathy, and put them on the defensive.

Once these people are on the defensive, they may resort to ‘tone policing’ as a way to regain some control over the conversation. However, rather than bringing the conversation back to equilibrium, tone policing usually just swings the oppression in the other direction, and now it’s the original, ‘emotional’ speaker who is put on the defensive and feels like they are not receiving empathy.

The key point is, we need to pay attention to how much voice we are allowing the other people to have in the conversation, and take a step back if we think we have undermined anyone else’s voice. Either being ‘overly passionate’ or reprimanding someone for being ‘overly passionate’ are both potential tools of oppression.

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