Word of the Day: mollify
Mollify (verb) MAH-luh-fye
1 : to soothe in temper or disposition : appease
2 : to reduce the rigidity of : soften
allay; alleviate; ameliorate; appease; assuage; blunt; lessen; lull; mitigate; pacify; placate; quell; relieve; soften; temper
aggravate; agitate; excite; incite; increase; intensify; irritate; provoke; upset; worry; worsen
“To some extent, the delay also was intended to mollify the concerns of county leaders that police and fire service responsibilities were being shoved at them on an abrupt timetable, potentially to the detriment of affected residents.” — Lawrence Specker, AL.com, 30 Aug. 2016
“If there were any doubt that Roark, with his 15 wins and top-five ERA, could be a reliable No. 2 starter if Stephen Strasburg cannot pitch in October, he has done all he could to mollify it. He has now thrown 200 innings for the first time. He still leads the league with nine starts of seven or more scoreless innings.” — Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post, 21 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
Mollify, pacify, appease, and placate all mean “to ease the anger or disturbance of,” although each implies a slightly different way of pouring oil on troubled waters. Pacify suggests the restoration of a calm or peaceful state, while appease implies the quieting of insistent demands by making concessions; you can appease appetites and desires as well as persons. Placate is similar to appease, but it often indicates a more complete transformation of bitterness to goodwill. Mollify, with its root in Latin mollis, meaning “soft,” implies soothing hurt feelings or anger.
To me, mollifying is an art form. Soothing tempers, appeasing desire, softening a hard stance, and assuaging an intense situation takes rare skill. One I don’t believe I have.
People tell me I have patience, but I wonder. I so to some extent but I still wonder. To me, patience is necessary to mollify a person in distress, pain, or just angry. I don’t have the skills to do that. I’m more likely going to aggravate rather than pacify the situation. It takes a rare breed, as far as I’m concerned, to help rather than hurt.
So how to mollify a situation. It can be done by force, either willingly by all parties involved, at the point of a gun or simple restraint, to just opening one’s arms and giving a hug.
I suppose I could use some help in this area and I welcome your comments. Perhaps I can become a better person as a result.
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