Sunday, September 7, 2008

Up in a puff of smoke

It's more than easy to lose your cool. Someone just needs to push your right buttons and you could explode in a cloud of smoke. It's worse if it's someone you care about who's keying in your detonation sequence.

I watched helplessly as I witnessed this today. The issue was trivial at worst and wouldn't ordinarily warrant an outburst. It got me thinking about why we crack up. At the risk of sounding cavalier, I think one critical but often ignored factor is focus.

I think it's more than easy to blow up when we're focused on the aggressor and what he or she is saying and doing to you. However, if we directed our energy on the big picture and saw the larger scheme of things, the might-have-been blow up might just seem plain silly.

Imagine someone tells you that you're draining all the resources. You know for a fact that you're not the one doing it. What do you do? It's easy to get upset and possibly retliate or rebut the statement angrily. But hold on - is that the real reason the comment was made? It's conceivable that in that fiery moment, you were more concerned about what was said "against" you and you responded to the act and not the substance. Focus as we know it, was lost.

So I think it's difficult to stay focused in less-than-perfect situations. But then again, it's easy to get angry. But remember, a 5 year old can get mad. Shouldn't we be better than that?

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