As the storm moves closer, I’m seeing some really bad behaviors which (some) people are exhibiting, a few I mentioned yesterday. See if any of these resonate:
- your boss makes some critical comments that he or she does not normally make
- your coworker become argumentative over small issues
- a customer barks and become demanding, saying something that demeans you
- your child wines or starts a fight with you
I could go on about behaviors that are the result of someone feeling anxious about a situation; they aren’t addressing their worry so it comes out in other, adverse ways (such as those above). Why does this happen?
The culprit is the negative thought we have, which then creates a feeling of fear – worry about the future, what will happen, what will happen to me. Our fight or flight goes off, sending adrenaline and cortisol into our system which leaves us heightened and in safety mode. Depending on how we have coped and adapted over the years is how we will respond now; we will either be in flight – denial, worry, need to escape, anger – or we will be in fight mode – irritable, defensive, angry.
If this sounds like you, or someone you know, I’d ask you to slow down and not react adversely to them; to take a d__ee_-p breath and be empathetic – what are they dealing with that might be causing their reaction?
The boss? he might be thinking of how he will keep employees safe while keeping the business afloat before and after the storm; the coworker? they might be stressed over having to work and what will they do with their kids tomorrow, as school is out; that customer? they might be worried about the safety of their family and how to make it through if no power; your child? they sense worry, perhaps in you or they may be reading posts on social media sites.
The point is, don’t be quick to assume that someone’s adverse behavior is a fatal flaw or that they are not a nice person. Be aware that there are deeper feelings going on; this allows you to step back and not draw in their negative energy. You will be left feeling calmer so you can go about doing what you need to do. It allows, also, the opportunity to have productive communication with them. A great question to ask is “what do you need right now?” so they can slow down and express their needs.
We may see this at the gas pump, in the grocery stores, in line at the bank; it doesn’t matter where. When you see, or interact, with someone who is displaying negative behaviors, send them love – you both will benefit from it.
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