This is a question many of us ask ourselves regularly. We overreact on the road all the time, we snap at our spouses and family, our colleague does something pretty innocuous and we lose our cool in a split second. It's exhausting.
In essence, much of this 'overreaction' stems from a well of fear and frustration
, often resulting from a lack of understanding of why we feel as we do.
Firstly, we have to acknowledge that we live in a pretty chaotic world. Chaos triggers fear, which triggers negative behaviours.
So we understand that most of us have some of our 'peace' stolen from us daily when we read the newspaper, engage in social media and/or listen to tales of woe from those around us.
We do, however, have some measure of control over how we choose to interact with
this world and those with whom we share it. We can be more discerning over what we watch, listen to or share with others. All too easily, we can become that to which we expose ourselves.
It therefore follows that we should be a lot more aware of the choices we make in these areas of our lives.
This self-awareness needs to extend to our understanding
exactly what makes us tick and where our personal challenges lie. Some of us are genuinely easy-going and welcome change, others of us need structure and find change scary.
Each personality type has its strengths and weaknesses
, and only when we understand what makes us explode and recognise what is likely to trigger that reaction in others, can we pre-empt conflict provoking situations. What creates anxiety in me and is likely to cause me to lose my cool, may well pass straight over the head of someone else, because it simply doesn't matter to them.
Enter the need for clearly and kindly defined boundaries.
Explain to that bothersome colleague who constantly takes your stapler out your drawer that you don't mind sharing, but to please not go into your drawer without asking first. A simple boundary which pre-empts you inappropriately losing your cool, after three weeks of silent seething each time said colleague dives into your drawer after the stapler.
How on earth was that colleague supposed to know that you consider your drawer private and personal? Only by your explaining it at the outset...
Setting and enforcing fair and honest boundaries
means both you and those around you know exactly where you stand, thereby avoiding angry outbursts.
This is known as assertive communication
. Enabling self-control inevitably diminishes the amount of angry misunderstandings, which lead to the over-reacting which we spoke about in the first paragraph.
Effective, adult, open and honest communication is key
to draining a large amount of the residual fear, (which is usually what precipitates anger), from your emotionally charged "well".
Join us on our Assertiveness
and/or Communication Excellence
workshops. We really explore why you are likely to react negatively to certain stimuli and positive to others through the understanding of our basic personality types. In the workshops we explore, amongst other aspects of communication, exactly what assertiveness looks like and how to bring it into your everyday lives.
is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.
Email us at info@StaffTraining.co.za
for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660