Many might think that emotional conflicts are more likely to happen in households, but they are widely prevalent in workplaces as well. Being reprimanded for things that are outside our control or are not our job assignment, experiencing others pouring out their own frustration onto us, a boss not listening to us but jumping into presuppositions about what we are saying (but we are saying what we think!), and many more.
When we know who we are and know how to control our emotions in heated situations to ensure they do not take over (breath!) we can dodge many of these fights.
We come to understand that most of these outbursts are not about us.
The teenager having a tantrum is, I believe, just seemingly unhappy with us (the boundaries we set up for them).
What really bothers them is the feeling of incapability and hopelessness.
At least this is how I remember my teenage years. It is true for adults as well 😉: every outburst we have represents our inner frustration, the fact that we have no control over what’s happening to or around us.
What we do have control over though is our reactions: while a tantrum likely won’t solve the problem, running away to a quiet place and calming ourselves down, breathing slowly, can highly improve our chances of finding a rational answer.
When we erupt like a volcano it is never about the other person we pour it out onto. It is solely about us.
So when someone else is acting like a “2-year-old having a tantrum” what should we do? Tap their head and leave them alone to settle down 😄.
Is it about us? No: the underlying issue might be but the emotional upheaval “add-on” has nothing to do with us. And, as we discussed, it is useless to engage in a conflict like this, so let’s provide them an opportunity to have another go at solving the issue later, in a respectable manner.
This leads to quite a painful area:
If I am offended, it’s my problem.
It shows that I need to work on myself.
It took me many months to accept this, so I do not expect anyone to swallow it easily.
On the other hand, I found this one of the most helpful guidelines.
- If we take offence and the feedback we have been given is valid, it means we need to improve.
- If we take offence and it is not valid, then we need to figure out why we took offence when we shouldn’t have. Quite simply, if it is not valid we just should shake it off, and move on: it is not about us, it is about them as they outpour their inner frustrations onto us.
Even if it sounds logical and clear, it is not always easy to do. However,
the less offence we take on, the more time, energy, and motivation we have left to use for other positive things.
Every situation where we get emotionally hurt can deeply affect us not only mentally, but also physically. When it can push us into fright/fight/freeze mode it will trigger its physiological symptoms (elevated heartbeat and blood pressure, more frequent but shallow breathing, etc). To stop this, we need to get our “brain” back by deep, slow breathing.
every time we recall these painful events, the symptoms come back, we re-live the situation, emotionally and physically.
Which means, every time we ponder upon past hurts we wound ourselves again, and again, and again – and it all has a negative effect on our bodies and mind.
That’s why we should learn to let these things go, to deliberately avoid recalling them and learn how to deal with them when the unwanted memories appear in our mind.