GET MAD, WAIT, THEN RESPOND
For the first time, I opened the Bible and was given a scripture that fit perfectly for a very eventful week. I’ve never had that happen before. It was a very pivotal moment in my faith, and also helped me understand this week and what has been going on.
I spent the week under the weather and diagnosed with a stomach flu. But, instead of being a time for me to focus on my health and not have to worry about other things, was anything but, at the beginning, although it did get better as the week went on.
I was forced to call out of work earlier this week because of being sick, but instead of it being something routine, it turned into being berated by someone I thought was closer to me than I thought. no need to go into details, but I was worried about my job, the friendship, and as my usual mind works, I started running to all kinds of conclusions based off this one interaction.
Needless to say the first day of being sick was a stressful one. But, the thing that made my mind run the most was my response. I did give in briefly, and albeit negatively immediately after this. Something I have worked very hard to overcome. I have a short temper and I get upset very easily. This is something I though I had gotten under control a little more.
After my initial reaction and a back and forth, I let it go after getting a call from a mediator. I was in the midst of writing an angry blog post, but the call came at the right time and I deleted it. I spent the rest of the week thinking about why I reacted like that initially, and what I could have done differently.
Because of the pain I was in this week it was difficult for me to read most of the week so I wasn’t able to keep up with my Bible reading plan this week, but I started back up today. When I opened my Bible I was in Proverbs and found this scripture:
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Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
The way I interpreted this passage was that I was so eager to shout horrible things from the rooftops for the way I felt I was treated instead of letting it go and allowing that person to deal in their own devices. i was so quick to say things that were not OK, that I said things I regret, and almost said much more.
After that first day I was able to relax and all but forget about what had happened, until I sat down to read tonight. I was reminded that quick talk does no good and that being quick to respond can commonly result in negative talk. I thought about what i could do, and what may seem like common sense to most, comes difficult to me because I have spent most of my life with quick retorts to slights.
Get mad. Let yourself get mad. It’s OK to get mad when you feel like you have been wronged. Especially if you feel that you have done nothing to deserve it. Getting mad is healthy. It is how long you stay mad and what you do next that matters.
Wait. After you get mad, wait before you respond. This can be a day or a week or how ever long you feel comfortable with. Responding quickly will result in you saying things you do not mean, things being misinterpreted, and further anger and hurt. Instead wait and filter through your feelings and think about what you would like to say in a calmer manner.
Then respond. After you get mad, then wait, then you respond. If you wait to respond you will be calmer, things will be said more clearly, and you can get your point across better.
Those three things have helped me in the past, and I need to work on making it more of a point going forward. It definitely would have saved me unneeded trouble this week. The takeaway, don’t be quick to respond to negative people. It is usually because of something they are dealing with themselves and not because of you. Whatever reason they have to act the way they do is no reflection of who you are. All you can do is pray for them and move on.