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Speaking of Communicating...
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At the very end of jury deliberations, I found myself in a minority of two vis-a-vis one of the verdict items. The discussion at first was very rational and in the give-and-take mode.

Then one person (La Italiana) started hammering on us two. Two or three more joined in, louder, faster, repeating and repeating the same thing as though incessant repetition would prove their point or beat us into submission, talking over us when we tried to present our points of vew.

Louder, faster, it went. I went from earnest seeker of truth to defender of my psychological boundaries in a flash.

After it was over, I tried to tease out the cause of my upset, and on the way home through Topanga Canyon it came to me: I cannot abide being bullied. I was always the quiet one, the younger one, the smallest one.

To this day, I still hang back at first, reserving judgment, until I see all the aspects of a situation. It's my way of keeping an open mind, a fair perspective on things. And I consistently see both (all) sides of an issue and will back down from a standpoint if given good reasons to do so.

I think some people take that for weakness and go on the attack if I have a difference of opinion or if I claim expertise in some area where they pride themselves on sole possession of the facts.

However, I'm quite capable of defending myself verbally. Today the primary bully was an Italian woman, and I told her in Italian, "Basta! Basta! Ma quest e troppo!" meaning, "Enough! This is too much!"

Many people at the table turned on me and told me *I* was wrong to attack her personally. It occurs to me now as I write this that they may have thought I was calling her a bastard. I should have translated my remark into English. Speaking to her in Italian just happened reflexively, since Italian is one of my languages and her mother tongue.

When we left, the judge thanked us sincerely for our efforts and said he'd see us in a year. I certainly hope not.

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