Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
– Viktor Frankl
Here we go again! He comes barging in. He doesn’t have a clue about what is going on. He’s just seen part of the story and it’s set him off. He thinks back to his past and the bitter experience it holds for him. He panics. His alarm bells ringing, he charges in.
He wants to help you, but this is well disguised and buried under the panic and anger he is projecting at you.
He cares, but it’s not the easiest thing in the world to remember… when he’s in your face, yelling and asking you all kinds of questions. When he’s telling you off, without knowing the full story and all you want to do is yell back at him – to tell him he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about. This is what you used to do. This is what comes easy to you. But you bite your tongue.
You’ve both been here before. You’ve run through this script a million times. You know better now. This time you want to do better than before.
You know he cares. You know he is upset because he is afraid for you. You know he means well and this is worth a lot more than the hollow victory that yelling back at him could bring… You make up your mind. Family is far more important than ego. It stops here. It stops now.
You calm down. You speak to him calmly and patiently. You explain things in a gentle and polite way.
He calms down. It sinks in. He mumbles a few words that let you know why he reacted that way. But you already knew this. And you already appreciated his concern. You go your separate ways as before, but something’s changed this time.
It was hard, but you did it! And now you know you can do it again. It might even get easier. This thought feels good. Hang on to it. Who knows, there may not even be a next time now.