We’ve all been there. You receive a frustrating email where someone did something either stupid or downright rude. Your first reaction is to get angry and start to write a snarky reply, potentially damaging a relationship. Hold that feeling for a moment before firing off that email you know you’ll regret later. You know better than to send it. But what should you do instead?
How can you honor your emotions without letting them control you?
You really want to throttle someone but you know that’s not the answer. Do you bottle it up and explode later at an unsuspecting innocent bystander? Do you let your anger get the better of you and send it, potentially losing a customer or business partner? How can you honor the emotions you feel yet not let them control you? I don’t necessarily have all the answers, but I do know that a good first step is to pause.
Just…wait….for a moment and breathe through it. Feel the emotions without reacting to them and then realize you can choose how to respond. That right there is powerful and especially important if we feel like we are a victim of someone’s actions.
Realize you can choose how to respond
OK, so what’s next? Well, if you’re anything like me, what you want to do to is just seethe for a bit and complain to anyone who will listen! But what does that do for you? Does it make you feel better? I know I certainly don’t feel any better! If you let yourself go down that road, chances are, you’ll start to revel in the victimhood and feel worse. I’m reminded of one of the Keller Williams training course, BOLD, laws “complaining = garbage magnet.”
complaining = garbage magnet
I’m not a fan of “The Secret” and the idea that you can magically manifest what you want by thinking positively and doing nothing. I do believe that like attracts like and our brains adore patterns. As soon as you start complaining, everything else seems terrible too. And guess what? You attract other complainers! So complaining just leads to more complaining and puts you on a downward spiral.
Complaining just leads to more complaining
So what can you do that’s more effective? The first step is to do an activity where you can direct the excess stress. Go for a walk, get up and get some water and stretch, go to the gym and sweat it out, listen to your favorite song and dance it out, do something productive that takes your mind off of it.
Once you’ve directed the energy elsewhere, it’s time to look for the lesson. We look for something we could do going forward to prevent it from happening again. Is there some way to take the lesson and even benefit from it? Can you maybe help others avoid it? Can you create a new system that addresses it? Is it a wakeup call to make a change in the relationship? Is it time to get help from an expert? Whatever you decide to do may not make everything all sunshine and roses for you, but it might just make some lemonade.
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