Here are some more ideas to help you control your reactivity.
- Don’t assume. So often we react without hearing the whole story or getting all the facts. Learn to find out more when something really annoys you. The bible says a fool only listens to one side of the story. Stop and listen. Ask for the others person perspective and feelings. You might be surprised at what you find out.
- Learn to know your triggers and take responsibility for them. Don’t blame others for your reactivity. God holds us accountable for our own behavior regardless of what others do or don’t do. We are instructed to speak the truth in love, not in hasty anger or punishing withdrawal. Confrontation and compassion can always go together. Isn’t that how you would like to be dealt with if someone is upset with you?
- When your spouse or child overreacts ask yourself, “What else is going on?” Is there a Buddy story here? (Read May 6th if you don’t know who “Buddy” is.) What stressors or feelings might be driving this annoying attitude or behavior? Make guesses as to what is stressful or what might be upsetting.
- Grieve the childhood wounds that drive your triggers. When Milan and I learned to comfort the wounds in each other, the power of the triggers diminished dramatically. Yes, it was painful to face these hurts but the result was less reactivity and a deeper bond in our relationship….that’sdefinitely worth it.
- Memorize and meditate on “Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.” James: 1: 19.