I want to talk about a pattern many of us are not proud of and struggle to change especially in the heat of the moment. Overreacting.
It often looks like vomiting our emotions on someone else. I’ve been there, my clients have been there, and let me tell you it sucks if you don’t know how to pivot from it. When we overreact we:
*Blame someone else for how you feel
*Say mean things that we later regret
The result of this is disconnect from ourselves and from others. If left unchecked it can turn important work and/or interpersonal relationships sour. It can also hurt our relationship with ourselves because on the back end of an argument we are upset and often beat ourselves up for it, but the thought work strategies can help.
What’s interesting about reacting is that even though it is a big display of emotion that feels like we are expressing our anger, it actually signals that we are actually ACTING, and not FEELING at all.
We react this way because we haven’t given ourselves space to process our emotion, and we believe someone else is the source of our pain. Let’s say a staff member turns in an assignment late and we quickly yell at them, we have acted out our frustration and let it drive our actions, instead of allowing ourselves the space and time to feel it without needing to act in that moment at all, thus keeping the connection intact and allowing for a calmer time and place to address the issue.
The skill that we can all benefit from learning is how to ALLOW our feelings without acting at all in the moment. The first step has to be to find a momentary pause. When the frustration hits, let that be the signal to pause, even for just a second. This gives you a chance to name your emotion, later be able to describe it, and ultimately let it express itself without it disconnecting you to someone you work with, or someone you are close to at home.
It also allows time to see that the other person is NOT the cause of your pain. Your thinking is. This is great news because the other person does not have to change or act differently for us to feel better, we can do that alone with our thoughts.
So, the next time you find yourself super frustrated with someone at work or home, pause, give yourself a moment to take a deep breath, ALLOW your frustration by naming the emotion and giving it room to process without acting in that moment. Stay connected to yourself and the other person. This is where growth and change can happen.
Send me a DM if you’d like to chat so we can see if we would be a good fit to work together. Especially if you are ready to move away from reacting in ways that you don’t like, so that you maintain and have meaningful relationships at work and at home. I want to help you excel in all areas of your interpersonal life.
If you are looking for additional ways to improve your mental health or to reach your goals, let’s set up a call to talk about taking your self-care to the next level!
Mind your strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.