How many times do we see the news or hear about a situation when we think how did it get to that point? Why didn’t someone intervene, somehow put a stop to it?
When to step in? How to step in? Who should step in?
I don’t remember how old my boys were when I started to talk to them about the part they could play in keeping things from escalating to a point where there is a loss of control and something unfortunate results. Somewhere in their grade school years, long before their brains would mature enough to develop impulse control. (Of course, age doesn’t always correlate to impulse control.)
The calmest among us still has a trigger or two – perhaps one or both of the universal triggers, hunger and lack of sleep. The calmest people are less likely to be set off by their very calm nature, do they also better understand how to take action to keep their surroundings more serene? Or how best to respond to chaotic surroundings to keep themselves serene?
We are under constant bombardment from outside forces – bills, relationship pressures, the world around us – which can keep us at a low simmer. Add in one more aggravation and it might make a volatile mix. What do we each do to understand our own simmer, our own triggers; what do we each do to counteract or prevent our triggers from being tripped?
Diffusing a volatile situation takes some skill, but helping ourselves, a friend or a family member to ease down their simmer is a much simpler and more pleasant task. Breaking the escalation pattern early, before it even has a chance to start, is sometimes as simple as getting a meal with a friend, sharing a laugh or offering a hug.
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