Our great nephew, his wife and their two children (3 and 5), recently came for a visit. We loved having them and the time we had together. The parents are doing a wonderful job, and it was fun to watch them interact with their precious little "munchkins." We picked some really fun "kids" activities that we could all do together which put us in the mix with lots of other children. Fascinating!
What I knew about parenting but was now observing through the eyes of #self-talk is that parents spend an enormous amount of time trying to manage their children's emotions. Try as they do to teach their kids how to properly acknowledge and manage their emotions, it's really hard for kids to master the art of mental management. Thus, we have the hissy fit.
In fact, we were all at lunch together when a very cute little girl at the table next to us had herself a hissy fit. It was a doozy. As we all sat observing (the munchkins included), I secretly wished I could act just like her when I'm told "no". Adulting can be so hard and frustrating and moves me to want to pitch a little fit to get what I want. Don't judge, but for a split second, I thought to myself - you go, girl!
Since we were in a restaurant, the parents decided to remove her from the table so she could finish pitching her fit outside. She stiffened, she curled her legs around the high chair...she did everything she could to fight being removed all the while screaming louder. Then, she began to notice everyone looking at her and it was a though her anger and frustration at being told no turned quickly into embarrassment. Embarrassment then took the hissy fit to a whole new level. All the while, the parents are trying to help her manage her emotions, teach her how to manage her emotions and, manage the situation.
After spending several days in the presence of lots of little kids, I'm reminded that parents have to become experts at managing emotional outbursts and professors in mental management. Seriously Y'all, learning to manage our emotions is a critical life skill. While most adult hissy fits don't include kicking and screaming while laying on the floor or require we be pried out of our seats and carried out, our emotions can still get the best of us.
Emotions are powerful. Let's take anger for instance. If the emotion of anger is triggered, we can go from all is well in the world and sitting peacefully idle to an outburst of anger in less than a second. Maybe even a nanosecond. The voice of emotion in our head has us going crazy and justifying our outburst. Adult hissy fits can include harsh words and actions. Let's face it...no matter how good it might feel to let out all that emotion...hissy fits are never pretty or appropriate.
Confession: I've had more than one adult hissy fit. I went right over many the edge into a deep pool of emotions, mind first. Often, I came out of the emotional pool more messed up than when I went in because when I came out of the pool, I didn't shake those emotions off. No, I often continued in my hissy adding new emotions, stuffing the old and clueless as to why my emotions keep getting the best of me. Can anyone relate?
Some of my #selftalk during these times could include: "I won't let anyone that close again; You won't hurt me again because I'm over you; I give up, I can't measure up; If I were this or that, it would have been different; I need to be this or that so this doesn't happen again; Because you hurt me and don't like me, I am going to try to hurt you by getting others to not like you. I've over relationships."
It's ugly I know, but it has been my hizzy fit #selftalk. If someone pushed any of those emotional buttons then that emotion ruled my actions and behavior (a/k/a hissy fit). But here's the thing...
We can't be ruled by our emotions because our emotions can't be trusted. If you have ever had day surgery, they tell you not to make any major decisions for 24 hours because you've been given medications that impair your judgment. Emotions are like the day surgery drugs...they can impair our judgment. Emotions can hinder our ability to think clearly and reason through situations objectively.
If you want to find the tools and develop the life skills needed to mentally manage the emotional ups, downs, twists, and turns of your life, then I think you might love my new book Self-Talk. This 8-Week, Bible-based self-help workbook will help you look for answers to questions you’ve never dared to ask; and in the process, you will discover insights that will help you manage your emotions.