I used to hear this term when I was younger, “Fueling the fire”
I would get so frustrated because I simply didn’t understand how that statement pertained to the situation at hand. Mostly because I was hot headed at the time and wouldn’t slow down long enough to actually comprehend it.
Now that I am older I can understand it and actually see how it plays out in other people’s situations.
So why is this important? I have a really good friend in my life who, in my opinion could benefit from seeing the message behind this post. During an argument or “escalated situation”, emotions tend to flare up. Our feelings want so badly to be expressed, heard, and understood. As they should.
The issue is, the very moment we allow our emotions to take control, our defenses to embody the situation, we lose control of the situation. Any respect or hearing minds, caring souls, instantly get deflected. So what is it and what can you do in a heated moment?
Stop. And. Think. 🤔💬– S. Bonwit Edition
I loathed my adoptive father for those words growing up. But I was, and in many ways still am, extremely difficult. Especially while amidst an argument or unpleasant situation. It got so much for my adoptive parents that he printed out signs that were size 36, Bold, Underlined, Times New Roman font that read: Stop. And. Think.
The concept behind it was in the moments I felt myself getting to “that point”, to breath, and collect myself, and reflect into the situation. To recognize what’s my place in this, how am I making it worse/better, and I adding to the argument or rising above it, or am I making everything worse resulting in pushing people away, triggering emotions in other people, causing confusion, anger, rage, you know: Fueling the fire.
What I learned, and what I am attempting to portray here is: People say things during arguments that they know is going to get under our skin, whatever their reasons are, whether it’s to do whatever it takes to get under our skin, or feel as though they’re able to deescalate the situation by doing this, they say things. But if we slow down, assess the situation, look at our approach or reactions, then it allows us to grow from the scenario. It allows us to learn whatever lesson it is that The Powers that Be, albeit God, Higher Power, Inner Self, Soul, or whatever it is you may believe in: is trying to learn us. Most frictions in life are due to something needing to be learned or taught. This can apply to many situations but I firmly believe we are in control of everything we go through. Do not mistake that statement. We are not in control of what happens to or around us..We are in control of our emotions and how we respond to such events.
Tip: If you’re amidst a difficult situation, argument, person, whatever, stop and think for a brief moment:
- What is this about?
- How is what I’m saying coming across to the other person? / How might the other person be perceiving what I am saying?
- What is the other person going through outside of this situation?
- What can I do differently that can bring a solution to this situation?
Remember, we cannot control anyone else but ourselves, our emotions, our actions and reactions.
Another trick that I introduced to my adoptive family was walking away during the problem. It was important for me back then because I used to be very “hot headed” and would go from 0-60 real quick. I needed a moment to collect myself, to realize that no one was going to hurt me, or attack me, and gather my thoughts enough to deal with the situation in an responsible, respectable, classier fashion.