Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations
I'm with Kevin on this. My two cents, FWIW:
In my experience, threatening to call 911 is an immediate escalator. If I think 911 NEEDS to be called be, I'll do so without warning the person ahead of time.
Once a person is hopping mad, it is too late to have an ethical stance on whether or not "emotionalism is ok." It is what is happening - it is the Mr. Reality that has to be dealt with. Listening does NOT mean agreeing in this situation. It is however often the single most effective tactic.
Once somebody is really mad, asking them why they did or did not do a particular thing (in this example, leaving a note) is akin to asking a 4 year old to explain his motives - I have never gotten a coherent answer that clarified the situation from asking that question and often it simply leads the tirade into a new direction.
I did not read anything to indicate that the couple was bending over backwards. Nor was there anything to construe they had given up the legal right to have had the car towed.