I forgot to post yesterday! I’m sensing a trend and I want to reverse it. Maybe I’ll post twice today. Just the same, it feels like the memory is slipping more in recent months. Whether this is part of being over busy or a result from hypothyroid I don’t know. There is an upside to being forgetful.
I don’t remember all the little hurts and (probably) imagined slights any more. Things that aren’t important just don’t stay in my brain. There is too much going on in life to allow other people’s lack of manners, planning, or awareness get me excited. They aren’t worth spending energy on. I wish I could think of a way to help people understand this earlier than I have. And I’m ever so grateful it hasn’t taken some life threatening episode for me to see it so clearly.
The trick is to catch yourself in the moment and turn it off! That is harder than it sounds. My good thing in the last 24 hours today is focused on a business phone call I had yesterday with a group in several places in the United States where I did just that. We represented three different aspects of our business and we were discussing how the actions from my part of the business was making a mess of another part. Now, I’m aware of this problem and am eager to find a solution and need the help of the other parts of the business to figure out the best way forward. Enter Mike.
Mike is very knowledgeable and I’ve often sought him out for advice on how the computers work together. I’m very aware of his strong opinions and that he doesn’t always listen carefully, so he might not be answering the question you have. But in general, I like the guy and have patience to get to what I need.
Yesterday was another story – he came out guns blazing. At least that is how it seemed to me. He had a lot of energy in his voice and there were a lot of accusatory words being thrown out – “YOU are doing this” or “YOUR GROUP has been doing this for years and NO ONE will do anything about it.” Those kinds of things. I found myself getting annoyed and even angry – we are doing this because your group asked us to – and it is messing things up for the whole world! Well, you can imagine this isn’t the most productive conversation. In fact, at one point I was ready to just hang up!
But then I realized… I’d been emotionally highjacked. He got me all excited because of his choice of words, his energy, his delivery. Everything he said was true (well mostly) but instead of wanting to work with him, he’d gotten me all stirred up to where I was on the point of arguing. I heard it in the voice of a colleague from my part of the business who was trying to address him.
Why is this a good moment? Well, I’m very proud of myself. I took a deep breath, calmed myself down and reviewed what I really wanted from the call. Then I stepped in and literally told the group “let’s bring the energy level down and go back to facts and problem solving.” It worked! My calmly saying this and restating the problem helped me lead to the solution options and questions. We discovered data available for me to analyze and planned a few next steps for what we could do. And you know what, even Mike was able to calm down and chose better words which helped us move toward finding solutions. We’re a long way from fixing this, but everyone left the call knowing our plan and knowing we are going to figure this out this time!
I’m so grateful for the self-awareness I have gained over my decades. It is fun when I can sit back and watch myself in action – especially when I’m practicing smarter behaviors!
I’m grateful the other people on the call didn’t just hang up. I could have come across as very condescending and instead I think everyone was willing to take a step back just like I did.
And now on another topic – I’m grateful for my violin and the little church in Edmonds that let’s me join them and play on the first Sunday of the month. Rehearsal this morning was fun and very rewarding. We should have fun in making an offering of music to God and enhance the worship services tomorrow.
How about you? Have you ever been emotionally highjacked? Have you ever intentionally highjacked someone else? After all, making someone laugh or smile can also be highjacking – not just getting excited or angry. Please share a story in the ether with with me.