“You need to calm down”.
If there’s one phrase that really amps me up, it’s being told to calm down. The same goes for “let it go”, “relax”, “get out of your head” or any other derivative of these phrases.
These always anger me. GREATLY. Usually, because when I get to this stage I’m so manic and angry because I feel like I’m not being heard. Not in the petulant, adolescent, stamping my feet way, but the “I need to be heard and I cannot fully express my emotions at present due to my state of upset and panic, my inability to ˆto see the forest through the treesˆ”.
Listening and hearing are two extremely different things. In my lowly opinion, hearing requires empathy for ALL parties, and not requiring understanding so much as REASSURANCE that your thoughts are legitimate. Not only that, but the comfort in knowing that there is nothing wrong with you for momentarily dropping your bundle.
When you inevitably DO drop your bundle for whatever reason, be it, the stress of a new job (Like myself, who gained ANOTHER promotion – my second in six weeks – a personal record of mine) relationship struggles, financial woes, whatever… remember who your friends are, and how much they love you. Don’t alienate them, they’re only trying to help. Remember yourself and the person you want to be in life. It’s OK to be angry and stressed and upset and scared but it’s not OK to take everything real or imaginary out on those who are your scaffolds, holding you up when your foundations are weak.
Speaking from experience and quoting ancient literature, we hurt the ones we love, the most – don’t let struggles and mis-communication get int he way of your closest relationships. True wisdom, knowledge and growth comes from constant reflection and the desire to improve.
So, when someone tells you to calm down, instead of yelling or ripping someone’s head off, calmly say “That phrase is angers me and feels counter-productive” and try and talk through your feelings – you will educate those around you about the best way to help you, and in turn, equip you with skills to express your emotions and help those in similar situations.