Handling Impulsive and Acting out Behavior

What is the most appropriate and effective way to express frustration following a bad interaction or negative day?

Daily interactions are filled with ups and downs.It is very seldom we have perfect days. Even on our best days we will make embarrassing and frustrating mistakes at times. The way some handle these moments becomes a way they are defined by others. Let’s look at few negative ways some handle these situations:

  1. Some process and react to frustrations by acting out. This can take the form of insults and other verbal assaults.
  2. For others it’s an opportunity to show others how upset they are with themselves and, “you don’t have to be upset with me, I’m already more upset with myself than you could ever be.” However, the idea that either one of these acting out responses is acceptable or appropriate is nonsense. Verbal or physical “acting out” often causes pain and hurts people and relationships and limits the potential for constructive and meaningful dialogue between people. teammates. Specifically, there are three things wrong with this type of behavior:

Generally, we get more of what we think about. I encourage the people I coach to reinforce good thoughts and catch negative thoughts before they come out, by saying Stop-Take a Breath- Smile.   Acknowledging their upset and  saying“that’s not who I am.” I suggest acting out be followed with the thought, “That’s not me. I am ____,  adding a positive thought to replace the negative emotion and to give yourself time to take a deep breath or count to 10. Acting out emotionally following bad behavior or verbal outburst simply intensifies connection to the negative behavior.

My suggestion is, when you experience frustration due to a poor or frustrating interaction “use”  the negative emotion to run a positive thought and image through your brain. Remember, we get more of what we think about.

If you are the kind of person who holds onto negative thoughts and feelings or if you are someone who needs a more powerful way to release negative emotion, it is important to practice release techniques when you are not emotionally distraught so that you will have more control of your emotional energy when frustrated or upset.

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