I am often realizing how much we live in our heads instead of in reality. Don’t know what I mean? Walk through this scenario with me…….
So boom, you’re talking to this new fly guy or gyal and you are texting each other pretty consistently for 6 days straight, and you’re in a groove; you’re used to the cute morning texts and all day conversation.
Then, on day 7, they don’t respond with the same efficiency as before. 10 mins go by, then an hour, then 10. In that period of silence or non-response, we immediately go to our file cabinet of times this happened before and we validate what we believe is happening. “What the hell could they be doing. See, I knew it was to good to be true. I’m definitely not dealing with this, this is exactly how Jamal, Cassandra, Cleo or Brandon used to act. They prolly with their other hoe.” etc, etc.
There are limitless insecure, unsure and uncertain stories that we come up with to “make sense” of why we haven’t gotten a response. Unfortunately, resorting to our file cabinet is the opposite of living in reality. We are instead living in and reacting from a past experience. Applying a past experience result to a current situation will give you the same result as you’ve had before.
So how do we live in reality and deal with what’s at hand?
When we are triggered, it is easy to get caught up in emotions, it is, however, more powerful to remove emotions from the situation and actually deal with what happened. The power in doing so allows us to deal with what’s on the table at the current moment and to make a decision based on what we want the result to be.
Based on the previous example about the delayed text response, we can alleviate the unnecessary emotional toll by looking and dealing with what happened in reality – a response was not received in the same time frame as previously. Nothing more or less.
By looking at what happened – we have the power to apply whatever meaning we choose, or don’t choose. Instead of thinking negatively/positively based on the past, we can give it zero meaning until the person responds or a positive meaning to help us cope. When a response is received, the feeling of uneasiness can and should be addressed then.
“What happened earlier?”
“You usually respond rather quickly, did something come up?”
“Can you set the expectations for your response time through text?”
From here, new possibilities can be created. A conversation can be started about communication expectations and requirements for both parties.
How to live in and deal with Reality?
Before responding to triggering situations, from small to large, implement the following 3 Step Method.
What Actually Happened?
Take a deep breath and analyze what ACTUALLY happened. Do your best to exclude your emotional reaction and responses. Walk through the event: This happened, then this happened, then this happened – by looking at the situation as a sequence of events you are more likely to gain an objective view and be in a better position to handle it.
How do you feel about what happened? Why am I feeling this way?
Now that you have an objective and REAL(ity) view of the situation, how do you feel about it? Are these feelings directly related to this exact experience, in this exact moment? Why are you feeling this way? Are your feelings a logical reaction to this situation?
Do your best to deal with this situation in the moment. Exclude your response in the past to situations that appear similar. By doing so, you are able to remain open to the possible outcomes.
How do I want to feel about this? How do I want to respond to what happened?
Lastly, you can now develop a response. You have taken an objective look at the situation and you have evaluated your feelings for their true and real meaning. One of the most powerful parts of responding is choosing to be and act from a space of LOVE. When we choose to operate in love, we are rough, raw & real about our feelings, while also making sure to react & respond in a loving way that is felt by everyone else involved.
At this point, you can craft a response that is suitable for the current situation. The key to this is the balance. Your emotional feelings and logical responses are equally valuable, though sometimes one will prevail or be more suitable than the other.
This method is meant to help you decipher and clearly express both in a way that supports forwarding the conversation to new possibilities that creates a love-filled win for everyone involved.