We’ve all been there with days from hell and full of drama. From strong personalities to unavoidable accidents – sometimes it’s just best to pause before reacting. If you react to the frustrating negative things, you open the door to more negativity and more drama. Has reacting ever made a situation better for you? Highly doubt it.
Control your attitude
We know how easy it is to unleash the fury by reacting, but we also know that success involves lots of challenging tasks and controlling your attitude is just another one of them. Do the difficult task of thinking through the case at hand and choosing the solution most practical regardless of the challenge. Author Lance Tyson puts it this way, “A successful person is totally focused on the result. An unsuccessful person is worried about how it feels doing it.”
Space out your challenge and response
As mentioned, before reacting take a pause, deep breath, and reflect until you find your inner calm. Sometimes this may take more than a brief moment – take whatever time you need to feel ready to face the drama head on. How you interpret a situation dictates your experience, but these interpretations are not always accurate. Sue Hawkes, author of Chasing Perfection: Shatter the Illusion; Minimize Self-Doubt and Maximize Success writes:
We just go along for the ride with whatever emotional reaction we have when, instead, we could ask ourselves, “Wait a second, are these thoughts even true? Am I seeing things as they are, or am I reacting to something that’s happened in the past?” Often our external responses to challenges are based on things we’ve internalized that have no basis in fact–and those “things” can be negative and self-defeating, challenging our internal sense of peace and groundedness.
Remember that reacting & responding are two different things
Responding involves careful thought creating responses that are mature, well presented, and also shows respect to other parties involved. Reacting is acting without thought creating responses that can be aggressive, poorly presented, and disrespectful. Richard B. Joelson, a clinical social work psychotherapist in the United States quotes, “When people who are struggling with being too reactive recognise the damage it can do and start to deliberately formulate thoughtful responses, rather than impulsive reactions, their interactions begin to reflect a higher degree of emotional competency. As a result, they live with much less regret and lessen the need to repair the damage to their relationships with others.”
Don’t let it continue
Once you have found a solution and responded appropriately, put the drama to rest. As long as it has been tackled wisely, it won’t continue, but some situations are unpredictable. Don’t let it continue, but if it does keep your cool and respond wisely…again.