When Things Don't 'Click'

Updated: Nov 1, 2019


When things don't click for us the situation can spiral out of control. In an instant we can become the worst version of ourselevs.


"The world is not fair, and often fools, cowards, liars and the selfish hide in high places." Bryant H. McGill


Rise above it


As the quote above points out there will be times when we are confronted with people (even bosses) that just really annoy us. When this happens we can lose our @#?! or we can choose to rise above it.


When people do or say things that don't fit with our mental map of how we believ they should behave and think it doesn't sit right with us. And if they do it often enough we begin to expect that everything they say and do in the future will result in conflict - we jump to conclusions and blow things out of proportion. We can reach a point where the mere mention of their name or the sight of them elicits a strong emotional reaction from us. Not a great situation to be in if this person is your boss, your employee, your customer or someone equally important.


The thing is that we are the source of all of our emotions, we choose (often unconsciously) how we feel. That means if we don't like the way we feel we can change it, in fact, we are the only ones who can.


Accepting that we are human and that sometimes we are going to make mistakes can be helpful in two ways. 1. Instead of getting angry or denying how we feel we can choose to be aware and be curious about why we are feeling the way we are and what we could do to change it. 2. Helps us recognise the same is true of the other person!


Separate the action from the individual, what they did or said has elicited your reponse, not who they are. That's a big distinction.


So what's the best way to deal with negative emotions? You could try ignoring them and hope they'll go away - they wont. You could suppress them, but they'll just surface in some other way or with someone who doesn't deserve it. You could indulge them, feeling sorry for yourself but that rarely makes things any better in my experience. You can even try an compete by saying 'you think you have it bad? Well let me tell you I've got it even worse!'


The more intelligent and sustainable thing to do? Rise above it by changing the way you feel, looking for solutions, learning from and using your emotions to improve the situation.


It takes time, effort and persistence but the more behavioural flexibility you have, the more successful you will be in any give situation. Surely it's worth it?


"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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