What makes us react the way we do?

February 9, 2016

I often wondered why when experiencing life, a specific situation, at one time, caused me to react in one way, and at different time, in a completely different way. Same circumstances, yet different responses. What is going here? Do I suffer from a split personality disorder? Let’s take for example two scenarios of the same situation, that we all can relate to:

 

a. Paul is his car driving to an important appointment and getting a call from his son’s school principal stating that his son is misbehaving and he need to come to school right away. Paul is mad. Like a devoted father that he is, feeling determined to teach his youngster a lesson, he is cancelling his appointment and rushing to the school. But before he knows it, a car on his right, obnoxiously cutting him off and gets in front of him.

 

Question: how does this road occurrence makes Paul feel? Is he frustrated or relaxed? Is he starting to make obscene gestures with his finger while screaming at the inconsiderate driver? What do you think is responsible for Paul to respond the way he did?

 

b. Paul is his car driving to an appointment while getting a call from his daughter’s School Principal indicating that she was elected by a land-slide to be a Class President and how proud he should be for raising such a special young leader. Like a devoted father that he is, Paul feels proud and happy for his offspring. But before he knows it, a car on your right, obnoxiously cutting him off and gets in front of him.

 

Question: how is this road occurrence would make Paul feel now? Is he frustrated or relaxed? Any obscene gestures with his finger? Any loud tone or just a soft smile? What do you think is responsible for Paul to respond the way he did?

 

What is responsible for us to respond the way we do is our State of Being (SOB), which is our mood in the moment? In 1st scenario our SOB is Anger and Frustration induced by a sudden change of plans and loved-one’s behavior, which will probably, cause me to have a mild road rage. But in 2nd scenario, where my SOB was Happy, being cut off by another driver, probably would not bother us in the least. As for myself, I might even roll down the window and say: “Go ahead my friend and have a wonderful day.”

 

The logical conclusion here is that our experience of the Outside World is created by our Inside World, our State of Being. Positive state will evoke positive thoughts and reactions while negative state will evoke negative thoughts and reactions. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can get to us if our state of mind is positive. It’s truly freeing to know that what controls our behavior and well-being is us and not the irresponsible driver or a demanding boss or a misbehaving child.

 

So next time we find ourselves, in what might to be a stressful situation, let’s not be impulsive and take a second to check our mood, believing that we fully control our response to anything we are faced with at each and every moment. The key is to stay calm and let our moody-clouds evaporate, knowing that just like in nature, our smiley-sun is always there waiting to be revealed and make us feel better.

 

 

 

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