Are You The Problem?
I saw his lips moving but I wasn't listening... After all, he SHOULD KNOW BETTER than to do what he did, right?! I mean really, who does he think HE is?! I felt my sense of entitlement rise up from the pit of my stomach and erupt out of my mouth. I began spewing, no vomiting my words on him at an increasing level of volume.
The situation becomes more heated as I gave him a piece of MY mind and told him the way it IS.
I think to myself that he has to EARN my respect before he gets any from me.
...and the situation escalates even more, raising to a more dangerous level.
Over what you're wondering? World peace? No. Minority rights? No. The life of an innocent bystander who was put in harms way? Nope, try again. How about a parking space, or cutting in front of someone in line at the Secretary of State or something similarly small and insignificant in the big picture of life, yet somehow of great importance to you in that moment.
How do we know when WE are the Problem?
When we get overwhelmed by emotion we can become the problem. It is natural to have emotions, but when they are ruling you and your decision making abilities you can become over run by them, sometimes resulting in poor decisions.
In the moment fighting for what's "right" is going to feel like the thing to do, however when you regain your composure you may think differently. So, how can we better maintain our balance, our professionalism and decision making abilities? Simple (not to be confused with easy!). Practice being grounded.
There are two types of grounding:
1) Tactical Grounding: Your ability to gain and/or maintain a balanced emotional state while in the heat of the moment.
2) Foundational Grounding: Your overall state of emotional balance.
Here are some strategies regarding each state:
Here are some tips on clearing your head, staying calm or regaining your emotional composure during a stressful situation:
- Take a deep breath & count to three.
- Q-Tip: Quit Taking It Personal!
- Stay calm & respectful.
- Keep Focus on the Bigger Picture, the main goal.
- Don’t let yourself get pulled into arguments.
- Work toward Most Good / Least Harm for Everyone.
- Sometimes you have to be smart & calm enough for the both of you!
Foundational grounding is really about how you live your life. If you mindfully take better care of yourself and have a healthy outlook on life you are more likely to stay cool, confident and make better decisions under pressure. Do you really think the guy who is road raging about "HIS" parking space you just "stole" from him is acting that way just because of that incident? Probably not. My guess is that there are larger problems inside of him that he hasn't dealt with and this is an excuse to vent his anger out on someone because he feels "justified" that he's right. Crazy I know, but think about it. He may be the nicest guy in the world having a bad day... or he truly may be the maniac you'll read about in tomorrows news, you'll never know if YOU'RE the part of the problem too.
So, here are some things to consider regarding developing a habit of being Foundationally Grounded:
- Embracing the Universal Life Value that ALL Life is To Be Respected and Protected and if we don't extend that sentiment, others will resist, sometimes violently.
- Work toward Most Good / Least Harm For Everyone in ALL Situations.
- Get Enough Sleep / Rest
- Regular Exercise
- Balanced Diet
- Quiet Time / Meditation
- Service to Others
- Connection with something larger than yourself
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Find a Mentor Who Embraces These Ideals
- Read Inspiring Stories, Watch Inspiring Movies, etc.
- Keep Learning & Growing as a Person
- Closure: Take Care of Your Regrets
- Remember karma: We reap what we sow
This approach is not just tactically superior, it's a makes for a Better Life!
All the best,