Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mine Fields

Mine Fields

I'm still taken by surprise when a seemingly innocuous encounter diverts into Dramaville.  Or is it Drama Town? Whatever. Anyway, you know what I mean, right? You're having a pleasant little conversation and all of a sudden something you say launches the other person into emotional orbit.  Or you lob a softball tweet or blog post into the stream and someone responds as if you'd thrown a brick through their front window.

The sad truth is, most of us walk around with unresolved issues from our childhood and teen years. They sit like undetonated bombs that can ignite when situations reminiscent of the initial trauma arise. You think you're mad at me, but you're really ranting at your control freak mom who pinched you whenever you'd color outside the lines. Or your failed jock dad who made you play on the football team instead of joining the glee club.

So I try not to take such emotional outbursts personally and maintain at least the semblance of compassion for the afflicted party. Hopefully, others will do the same for me.


DrFran said...

This is a great post, Botgirl, and something that personally and professionally has been the impetus for my greatest growth. When I learned that any boyfriend or boss who gave me constructive feedback was NOT my mother detailing the spots I had missed when I cleaned the sink, my sanity levels and conflicts decreased exponentially.
Would that we could all be insightful, observant, and recognize the reenactments when they happen.

Anonymous said...

Good post. Learning to chill out and take a step back and gain some perspective before responding instead of instantly reacting literally changed my life. By the way, I have a hard time picturing you having an emotional outburst. You always come across so calm. :)

Botgirl Questi said...

Dr. Fran: Remember Transactional Analysis? You'd chart out interactions and see where participants were coming from their parent, adult or child. One thing I often forget is that when someone launches into their issues about being controlled by their parent, I'm pushed psychologically to fall into the other role.

Botgirl Questi said...

callmeshebear: Ha! I can usually refrain from pushing my emotional responses out to the internet, but it's a lot tougher in real time. My outbursts are usually about insignificant frustrations, especially when combined with fatigue, like not being able to find my keys in the morning when I'm running late for work.