“I can’t control anything!”
This was said to me over the phone by a customer who had a lot going on. I was calling in regards to her past due account. I haven’t heard from her in the sixty or so day she since she opened the loan and now I had finally gotten a hold of her. This was her response after I asked, “How are you?” In the short, there has been a lot happening to her- life. Lost her job, kids to feed, husband walked out on her and the kids, car totaled, and her sister was in the hospital. A lot of unfortunate things. I let her tell her story and was able to find a solution for her. We were able to put a Band-Aid on the situation. But Band-Aids can only hold for so long.
This situation got me thinking. We, as humans, have need of some sort of control in our lives. When the world seem to have gone crazy, we yearn for something we can control- which could be everything that encompasses us including other people or situation. Some times we can and most of the time we can’t. But first and foremost we do have control over how we think, how we feel, and what actions to take. When the lady had yelled at me, I could have yelled back. Instead I chose to hear her out. Everyone is going through something and some just need to talk it out. She wasn’t upset with me. She tried to make it personal. But I chose to not give in to her game. I wanted to help her and come up with a solution together. But first I had to check myself before I too got emotionally charged.
Here are some ways to rise above negative emotions.
- If someone is emotional towards a situation, thing, or person and you are the person wanting to help:
- Let them talk- “shut up, sit down and listen”, take notes if you have to. Let them say what is on their mind.
- Ask questions that can help them move forward
- Support them by giving them words of encouragement
I should caution if they start calling you names because of the solutions you purposed- walk away and tackle it another time. Deescalate and move on. Don’t be afraid to call them out. There are tactful ways of telling them with out raising your voice and getting emotionally charged. Take a few deep breathes and keep your voice steady and calm.
- If you are feeling out of control:
- Reset- take a relaxing day off – self-care day
- Go for a run or exercise
- Talk it out with a friend or therapist
- Write it out
- Make a list of what you can control: feelings, thinking, and actions. Flip the script- what is the opposite of feeling overwhelmed?
- Cry it out
- Read something inspiring
- Listen to fun music or a podcast you enjoy
- Write out a list of what you are grateful for
- Get creative- paint, sculpt or carve it out
- Eat your favorite comfort food
By focusing on what one can control one can help ease their mind and even find a solution. Sometimes it’s taking a step out of the situation to really see the bigger picture that helps.