It is common to justify more extreme behavior because of the intensity of feelings. But just because we are feeling deeply does not give us permission to cross good boundaries. Our feelings may not even reflect reality. They may just come from our perspective. At that point we are simply being judgmental and lacking love. Instead the intensity should be a big caution sign that you may be approaching a dangerous situation that needs careful consideration.
- Self soothe. I could have engaged in some positive self talk as I was driving over to meet the situation. I could have taken deep breaths and calmed myself to the best of my ability. I could have been aware that my anxiety would only add to the already anxious atmosphere. I could have tried to be the least anxious person in the room. I could pray.
- I could have resisted my impulsive first actions and slowed myself down a bit. Even in the midst of the situation there was time to think rationally. There were options available that I needed to consider before I took a potentially harmful step.
- I could have taken positive control, even while feeling out of control. I could have been firm and directive rather than emotionally reactive. I could have considered the other person’s feelings rather than mine alone. Kindness goes a long way in a tense situation.