DEALING WITH ANGER . . .

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COMIN’ OUT!

 

                                                

No, it’s not a reference to a specific type of celebration party, or to an at-long-last exit from one’s closet.  COMIN’  OUT! is a cry you can hear in almost every town across America every summer on every baseball and softball field! 

It’s the BP (batting practice) pitcher yelling to all those in the field to be alert and pay attention and don’t turn your back on the ball because the batting practice pitches are about to commence and the batting practice hitters will be trying to hit the batting practice pitches down the batting practice fielders’ throats!   

When an irate customer, business client or partner, patient or associate decides to throw a tantrum (or toss out a bombardment of accusations, half-truths or outright lies . . . in person or via email), don’t turn your back on the ball; it could hit you in the back of your head! 

Regardless of the indignant individual’s motivation to exercise pent up frustrations, flex political muscle, show off, play one upmanship or activate a superiority (or inferiority) complex, don’t waste time being analytical . . . and PLEASE:  don’t react!  Think respond, not reactIf you don’t react, you can never over-react!  The old saying still rings true that it takes two to tango! 

If you’ve mentally and emotionally prepared yourself in advance for such an eventuality, you won’t have to get your glove and get in the game; you’ll already be there! 

It’s easier than it might seem.  (Remember, since every behavior is a choice —yes, it is!— you can CHOOSE for it to be easy or, if you have masochistic tendencies, then go ahead and CHOOSE for it to be hard!) 

Simply imagine you’re in the field, glove in hand, and the pitcher yells over her or his shoulder, COMIN’ OUT!  Then turn to face the ball and get ready to catch it, even if it appears to be heading somewhere else.  Why?  It never hurts to be ready.  Be, as any good Boy Scout will tell you, prepared!  (I didn’t say “neurotic,” mind you, just “prepared.”)

For openers, most human beings caught off-guard by COMIN’ OUT! circumstances can benefit by taking a couple of deep breaths(to circulate oxygen and make the brain more alert, and to circulate blood flow and make the muscles more relaxed), which serves to pull the fuse out of the tendency to react! 

For closers, be persistently objective and unemotional in responding [The Adult ego-state in Transactional Analysis].  Attempt to get the whiner/complainer/bitcher/screamer/fist-pounder person to   s  l  o  w     d  o  w  n  and deal with each issue on a one-at-a-time basis.  Upset people tend to bunch together an avalanche of problems and issues, none of which can of course be addressed or resolved, buried under so many others. 

No guarantees with any of this except that —for sure— you will handle COMIN’ OUT! situations better having thought about best practice responses than you ever would with your back to home plate!

                                                                    

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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

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