When you’ve felt anxious, overwhelmed, worried or angry, have you ever passed it on?
We often feel one way, but act another. For instance, when have you ever snapped at someone with irritation when you’re really feeling anxious, worried or upset about something that doesn’t have to do with them? You’re just shooting arrows and they end up being the target.
What about when you’re on the receiving end. Unfair, isn’t it!
But if you pass it on by discharging your feelings, it doesn’t really help you – or anyone else.
I was inspired when I learned about some things citizens are doing in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live, including Start the Conversation, a program of the local PBS station to support understanding, reduce fear and anxiety along the political divide, and a series of meetings hosted at a local college.
Also on the community level, the Listening Project has been helping communities work through their differences for 30 years.
On the personal side, it takes practice — and support — to stop the chain of reactions.
When someone has crossed a line, targeted you, or just leaked out their pain — you don’t have to react in kind. In fact, you’ll feel better about yourself if you don’t. I call this Keeping Your Side of the Street Clean. If you want to find out more, ask me about my upcoming free telephone call.