Imagine for a moment, taking a leisurely stroll down a tree lined avenue, far removed from the high volume of expressway traffic. Not only is it a less crowded and pothole free route, but it’s also far more scenic and the tolls you pay are fewer in the end. Considering the mental health costs alone, you have potentially saved enough time and money to finance your dream get-away or perhaps a vacation home.
I am not suggesting that you tolerate any and all infractions, bad behaviors and personal affronts. Avoidance is not the solution. Rather, take a stand for yourself with respect to engaging with the challenging person or uncomfortable situation.
• How do you tend to handle confrontation?
• What is most important to you regarding the outcome?
• Notice when your buttons are being pressed.
• How clear are your boundaries?
Some situations are simply easier to manage. Some associates, even intimates, are highly predictable in the ways they relate to each other so that we can prepare for the interaction. On the other hand, since people do not yet come equipped with “bar codes” that could enable us to identify their personal traits and characteristics beforehand, determining a plan of action can happen on the spot.
Taking the high road is not about turning the other cheek either. It is more in alignment with an overall philosophy of self-care and personal empowerment as well as self management. Scratch even deeper and it is an understanding and sometimes an acceptance of what and who you are reacting to. Is it really the person in front of you or is it your third grade teacher, college coach or scout leader; all voices from the past?