We all know people who can go from 0-100 real quick. Heck, maybe you are one of those people. While in some environments that behavior is glorified, in most environments it can make bad situations worse and get you in a whole lot of trouble. I get that people may push your buttons, step on your toes, and get on your nerves, but there are other ways to handle your frustration without losing your cool. Here are 4 ways to not allow your emotions to get the best of you:
1. Just Breathe: Yup, they just said that. Yup, they just did that. Now, you just breathe. Your first reaction is not always the right one. If you allow yourself the time to breathe and give yourself a chance to think before you react, you will likely decide to respond in a more sensible way, a way that won’t cause you to look like a fool, destroy your relationship, lose your job, or land you in prison. If everyone made decisions based on their emotions, there’d be fist fights happening everywhere that you go. People are going to annoy you and frustrate you because everyone is different and has different perspectives. We don’t all have the same standards and we weren’t all raised with the same values. However, being frustrated or annoyed is not an excuse to act up, especially when you have something to lose. Breathe before you release the beast. Not all situations require you to expose that side of you.
2. Cool Down Before You Speak Up: Watch your tongue when you’re angry or upset. Once the words come out of your mouth, no matter how much you apologize for them, you can never take them back. Even if you spoke out of anger and didn’t really mean what you said, there will be consequences for your words. People won’t forget what you said, especially when your words were painful and caused damage. You can alter your relationships forever because of an argument or disagreement that went too far left. Catch yourself before you say something that will hurt you more than help you.
Did you know that just saying that you are going to beat someone up can be considered a terroristic threat and can lead to serving jail time? “A terroristic threat is a crime generally involving a threat to commit violence communicated with the intent to terrorize another, to cause evacuation of a building, or to cause serious public inconvenience, in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.” In a instant your life can be changed forever simply because you made the choice to speak out of anger. Regardless of the situation, no one is worth you destroying your life over. People can do things that will make your temperature rise and blood boil, but before you open your mouth to respond, allow yourself time to cool down so that you won’t say words that will have a negative impact.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions: Just because you received the message negatively doesn’t mean that it was sent that way. As mentioned earlier, we are all different and have different standards, values, and perspectives. Don’t get yourself worked up over something you think someone said or did to upset you. Don’t take action without knowing the facts. You know what they say about making assumptions. Don’t make a fool of yourself because you jumped to conclusions. That co-worker you said “good morning” to, who didn’t say “good morning” back, may not have heard you. That friend you waved to in the parking lot, who didn’t acknowledge you, may not have seen you. That phone call you made to a family member that went unanswered, but then you see them posting on social media, may not have went through. That cold shoulder you got from your man after a long day of work likely has nothing to do with you. He’s probably just tired. We all have our days. We are human after all. So, before you go to breaking up, ending friendships, blocking on social media, deleting phone numbers, and bad-mouthing people, take a step back and ensure that you know the facts. Communicate your thoughts and feelings and allow the other person to be clear with you about their intentions. After doing so, you will probably find that the initial reaction you planned on wasn’t even warranted.
4. Rise Above It: So, they meant the hurtful words they said and they intentionally hurt you, now what? As difficult as it might be, choose to rise above it. Despite the code that some people live by, doing to others what they do to you is not the best revenge. You don’t win that way. The universe rewards and punishes people based on their actions. When someone hurts you, they have already put things in motion to account for the damage they’ve done and pain that they’ve caused. You do not need to do anything. It’s already being taken care of. Everyone has consequences for their actions even when they are trying to get revenge. As the saying goes “two wrongs don’t make a right”. When people spend their lives trying to make the lives of others miserable, they are already suffering. Don’t entertain them and give them satisfaction by feeding into their negativity. They want attention so ignore them. Instead of allowing a low-life person bring you down to their level and cause you to miss out on your blessings, choose to keep your head and crown high. Your’re better than that and they are not worth it so rise above it.
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Andromeda Raheem, Empowerment Coach and Founder of Women By Choice