I was told about of a person who goes into battle with people who disagree with her.
Surprise! Most people give her a wide berth on touchy issues. She also does not have many close friends.
This is a case of self sabotage and is a way to derail a career or contaminate a friendship.
The key to managing such unruly emotions involves both Reality Testing and Impulse Control.
It is of paramount importance that we see our world as it really is and not have fantasies about what is going on. Our emotions cannot cloud our objectivity.
For instance when there is a minor perturbation in your world like the arrival of an unexpected letter from the IRS, bad traffic on the way to work, a child comes home with a less than stellar report card, or your project starts running late,
You choose not to freak out when you,
* Size up the situation for what it is
* See it as a one time incident and not something that will happen all the time
* Do not allow the stress of the situation to color your perceptions
* View it as a problem to be solved rather than the beginning of a battle
* Recognize that your mind can make the problem bigger than it actually is
With your reality testing intact you have a better chance for
Successful people know both how to name as well as hit the brakes on their feelings. Consider the following examples.
- A colleague disrespects you or someone you know. Your impulse is to get overly emotional and “cut them off at the knees” with a sharp verbal response. Your better choice. Cool down and decide whether to let the incident pass or make a boundary setting remark like “Let’s stick with the issue at hand and not make this personal”
- You are deeply disappointed by a leadership decision that impacts you personally e.g. you were not promoted. Your impulse may be to complain to anyone who will listen.Your better choice. Ask you boss for feedback as to how you could be better prepared for such a position in the future.
Reflection and Response
What insights have you had and actions have you taken to keep you from being derailed by your emotions?