In my last post on being good role models and setting standards for our kids, I talked about how I now tend to lose my cool relatively easily, even though I often talk to the kids about not overreacting and trying to stay calm in a variety of circumstances. I am doing my best to not do that, but I can’t seem to convince my family that I am not just randomly lashing out or lecturing anyone because that’s what I like to do. I am reacting to something they are either doing or not doing, and most of the time, whatever it is has been an ongoing issue or something more than one person tends to do or not do. Therefore, I have very little patience with whatever behavior and am easily frustrated. That makes it very difficult to keep calm all the time.
What gets me is that everyone is always surprised at the fact that I am upset or frustrated yet again and that I am reacting accordingly. I don’t want to feel those things or react in a negative way, but it is a cumulative thing that has been more and more difficult to control over time. I had to explain to them that it’s like poking a sleeping bear with a stick. The more you poke, the more irritated the bear becomes, and eventually the bear is going to growl at you and want to chase you away. Chances are that it won’t take too much poking to get that reaction. Clearly, the bear is not to blame if it was just lying there minding its own business when someone started poking away, and no one can fault the bear for it’s reaction.
There’s the big difference though. I am somehow always condemned or blamed for overreacting or even reacting at all. It’s all me and the fact that I like to randomly lash out at people, and no one wants to take responsibility for doing anything that might have been the catalyst for the reaction, let alone apologize or make the effort not to do it again in the future. I am trying my hardest to stay calm, but it doesn’t seem like anyone else is trying at all to do anything differently on their part. They just keep poking. They’re not always doing it on purpose, but they’re still doing it. So this bear often doesn’t get much of a chance to sleep peacefully and recharge when the rest of the family is around. That makes for a very irritated bear who wants to growl at everyone and then go hibernate for a while.
I don’t want to be viewed as a bear who is easily provoked and feared. I’d much rather be a cute and cuddly playful bear, but it’s hard to be cute and cuddly when you are being poked with a stick. Maybe someday my family will understand.
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