By: Natascha Jones, Guest Blogger
What do you do when someone makes you mad or hurts your feelings? The guy or girl who asks you on a date and doesn’t show up, or they don’t call you the next day, or that friend who borrows (and loses) your favorite belt, or your roommate’s dog – the dog you don’t really like – poops on your carpet and your roommate doesn’t clean it up.
How “should” you react? How do you WANT to react?
In my efforts to create the best version of me that I possibly can, this is a new chapter in self-discovery.
I was raised with virtually no coping mechanisms or empathic viewpoints which means I was usually very frustrated and I felt angry and unheard whenever any sort of conflict arose. If someone did something that made me feel victimized, hurt, or offended I immediately took it personally and instead of using my intelligence to decide what was the reality, I chose reactive anger.
Now that I’m older and I’m just now starting to understand how other people think, at the very least, I am able to stop and say to myself “this person’s actions have nothing to do with me, they are doing this because they are trying to make themselves happy, not to make you upset.” And then I repeat it a few times: “this has nothing to do with me.”
But is this always the right thing do?
Most of the books I’ve read, either religious or self-improvement, have said to AVOID reacting, and instead, be in a state of loving kindness and compassion, to show love to those who have transgressed against us; they said to never let someone know that they have “wronged” us, but also to never forget that they wrong us. Sometimes I just want to let that person know that they really hurt my feelings or really made me mad! Is that not ok?
Is it our job to “teach others a lesson” or do we just let them get away with it? Are we alleviated from the responsibility of showing and telling others how we want to be treated?
A guy I’ve been talking to came to the same beach party that I was at this past weekend. It was really fun to spend time with him throughout the day, but when it was almost time for the fireworks I couldn’t find him anywhere. He had left and he didn’t even say anything.
The old me would have berated him with angry words and tried to make him feel 5 inches tall. But the new me knew to wait. I’ve found that since I don’t yet have the reasoning that I want, but I know I don’t want to be angry, my go-to move is time. If I don’t know what to do, I just wait. Sometimes its hours, sometimes its days. Until I feel like I can react logically, I don’t do anything at all. But is this taking away from the passion of being a female? Are we diluting our “crazy” (in a positive way) feminine by not reacting? I found something incredibly beautiful about Penelope Cruz’s character in the movie, Vicky, Christina Barcelona. Brandishing a gun, her hair wild and unruly, I found her romantic and sexy. What happened to that irrational, passionate woman?
If we stifle this wild woman inside of us, are we killing one of the very things that make us the amazing species we are?
Finding the balance between being compassionate and understanding but also being an untamable woman is I think, my ultimate goal. It would be a shame to become so detached from your emotional side that you become a logical zombie. This craziness is where our art comes from, where our love comes from, where our “je ne sais quoi” comes from. Without our emotions we are just another human, punching a clock in life.
In my opinion, I say give it a few hours, or a few days. If you’re still feeling that emotion wanting to get out, shout it from the rooftops and never apologize. Own that crazy lady.
Handling volatile emotions can be really tricky, but really important to showing up as our authentic selves.
- How do you relate to Natascha's story about grappling with strong emotions? Give her "take a break and wait" technique a try and tell us about your experience!
While she would have to inform you that her “day” job is in esthetics and makeup artistry, Natascha truly spends her days in sunny Venice Beach laughing with her friends, riding her bike, and telling grandiose stories encouraging others to laugh, cry or think. She is passionate about her efforts to live life fully and push her comfort zone, which is why she spills her guts to you and she hopes you’ll still love her.
image via golunagirlgo.com