EASIER SAID THAN DONE... EVERY DAY OUTBURST OF ANGER
“Action speaks louder than words. Remember, ‘well done’ is much better than ‘well said’" - Benjamin Franklin
Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of people teaching and preaching different things. While what they are teaching is very interesting and eye opening, spending time with these people, I realize that they don’t always practice what they preach. I am guilty of this too. I have learned a lot about emotions in the past years, I have a very good understanding of them and yet there are still times where I look back at a moment that just passed to reallze that I could have handled that situation much better. Yes, it is easier to talk about something then to actually do it, live it, breath it. But we need to start somewhere.
I remember from my high school days there were things that I understood but when I tried to explain them to a friend, it didn't come out so well. I soon realized that if I managed to explain it to someone, it meant that I really understood it. With things we learn that are very personal or that are in the deepest sense about us, like emotions, it goes a step further. Once we understand it, once we can explain it, then we need to embed it. I’ll argue that this is the hardest part.
I’ll give you an example. I recently went for lunch with a good friend of mine, who has been with me throughout this whole journey of me learning about emotions and setting up Feeling Magnets. During this time, we often spent countless hours talking and exchanging about emotions. She became very interested in emotions and also has read quite a number of books. She’s one of my few friends that I can really have long conversations about emotions with.
We sat down in the restaurant, studied the menu and placed our orders. When our meals came she suddenly exploded at the waiter saying “What is this? This is ridiculous! $20 for this?! This is ridiculous!…” I looked at her plate and realized that it wasn't what we had ordered so I tried to clarify what happened with the waiter. In the meantime, the waiter was responding to my friends’ complaints and defending himself.
In the heat of the moment, I told my friend “there’s no need to be angry”, which only had her fuming more. In hindsight that was a terrible thing to do, because it wasn’t at all what I meant. Of course she could feel angry. She didn’t get what she wanted and she felt cheated by it. The anger was telling her that something had come in the way of her getting what she wanted (the wrong dish) and she felt what she had received was overpriced and unfair. What I had meant to say was, there is no need for her to raise her voice and attack the waiter with accusations because he had done nothing wrong and there was a way to resolve this misunderstanding calmly.
It didn’t take long for the situation to get sorted, the waiter took back the plate and replaced it with the dish she wanted. As we sat eating our meal afterwards we reflected on what just happened. We were both surprised by how we had acted and knew full and well that there would have been better ways to react. It clearly showed us just how emotions can take us over and how it’s very difficult to make the choice to not act on the strong urges we might have.
Now do moments like these, where we don’t act 100% in line with what we teach mean that we are fakes, phony’s or liars? Not necessarily. It means that we are still learning and that we aren’t perfect. I think that as long as we honestly reflect on ourselves and learn from each experience then we are on the right path. These kind of situations happen less and less. Overall we are practicing what we preach. Just not achieving it 100% of the time.
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