A while back I was called in to intervene when a family member was having a meltdown. The situation required immediate action and I had to drop everything and respond. Ultimately I came through (what a man), but I dealt with the person too harshly, and afterwards I felt guilt. So what happened?
In reality I was scared and anxious, but I also was feeling somewhat angry because this was a repeat situation. I needed to make a quick decision and take control. I was unsure of what might be needed, but it was up to me to figure it out. So I overreacted.
The intensity of your feelings should direct your positive action.
What could I have done that would have had a better outcome? I think I could have done a few things that would have helped.
- Self soothe. I could have engaged in some positive self talk as I was driving over to meet the situation. I could have taken deep breaths and calmed myself to the best of my ability. I could have been aware that my anxiety would only add to the already anxious atmosphere. I could have tried to be the least anxious person in the room. I could pray.
- I could have resisted my impulsive first actions and slowed myself down a bit. Even in the midst of the situation there was time to think rationally. There were options available that I needed to consider before I took a potentially harmful step.
- I could have taken positive control, even while feeling out of control. I could have been firm and directive rather than emotionally reactive. I could have considered the other person’s feelings rather than mine alone. Kindness goes a long way in a tense situation.
I could create a really long list, but I’m sure you get the idea. I would love for readers to respond with their own stories in the comment box below.
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