I am, admittedly, a drama queen. I know I overreact to things and am even prone to temper tantrum-like behavior. I get offended a lot and am always mad, sad or upset. Can you give me advice that would help me stop making things bigger than they really are? I am starting to see these same tendencies in my kids and I’d really like to teach them to handle things better.
You can calm yourself down in the moment to avoid drama-queen tendencies. Below are some questions to ask yourself when things go wrong. You can teach your children to ask themselves these questions too:
• How big a deal with this be 10 years from now? Step back from this problem and try to get a long-term perspective on it. Chances are it feels bigger than it really is.
• Am I taking this more personally than I have to? Most people behave badly when they are scared for themselves. They are scared they are not good enough or they are afraid of loss. These fears drive most of their behavior. Is this other person experiencing these fears and is that fear driving their behavior? If so, it’s not really about me. I can choose to let it go.
• Is my fear of not being good enough in the way? This fear makes me think everything is about me when it really isn’t. It makes me blow problems out of proportion and it makes me get offended by things that really can’t hurt me. Am I applying my fear to this situation unnecessarily?
• Do I remember nothing can diminish me? My value is infinite and absolute. I am the same regardless of what others think. I cannot be wounded without my participation. I can choose to see myself as bulletproof. I could decide to let this offense bounce off. Even if I choose to address this offense, I will do so with the understanding that my value was never on the line.
• Do I realize I get to choose how I will experience each situation? I can choose to be hurt and offended if I want to. I can create all kinds of unnecessary drama and gossip around this offense. I can use it to cast the other person as the bad guy so I can feel superior. I could use it to play the victim and get sympathy love, but if I choose this, people will lose respect for me and I will be giving away my power. I will not allow circumstances or other people to dictate my emotions or behavior. I have the power to choose how I will feel and respond. I choose joy, love, and peace because it makes me feel better about myself.
• Am I seeing this person or people as the same as me? Fear of not being good enough makes me see other people as better than me or worse than me. This mindset creates unnecessary drama, self-pity and conflict. In reality, we are all the same. We all have the same value. We are all struggling, scared, divine, amazing human beings in process. We are all students in the classroom of life and we are all afraid we aren’t good enough. I choose to see other people as the same as me. I know I'm imperfect too, so I can’t cast the first stone. When I see this situation accurately, I can respond with love, compassion and wisdom.
• What does this person really want and need? What is the underlying cause of their behavior? Most people behave badly because they desperately need love, attention or validation. Bad behavior is not a good way to request love, attention and validation — but this person does not know a better way. When other people are behaving badly I can give them love, attention or validation. It won't be easy, but I can do it.
• Do I realize there are times when a person’s bad behavior needs to be addressed? I will talk to them in a strong, loving and validating way. I will set aside my need to be right, superior or angry. I will focus on my love for them and my desire to have a good relationship. I will listen to how they feel and what they think first. I will honor and respect their right to feel the way they do. I will not disagree or criticize them. After I have listened to them, I will ask permission to share my feelings. I will use “I” statements not “you” statements and I will focus on the future behavior I’d like to see, not on their past behavior (which they cannot change). I will ask them if, in the future, they would be willing to behave differently.
I choose to see myself and other people accurately and keep problems in perspective. I treat people with respect and love and this makes me feel peaceful, powerful and free. I choose mature, strong, loving behavior in every situation.
If you still have a hard time finding a clear perspective and calming yourself down, you may want to find a counselor or coach to help you. A little professional help can make a big difference.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing and building self-esteem.
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These articles were originally published on KSL.COM
Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and is a
popular life coach, author and speaker. She was named
one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly
on local and national TV and Radio.