A statement like, “I never know how you are going to react” is an indicator that you may not know what normal is. It may be deeply ingrained in you from an early age of being socialized in an environment that was constantly changing in rules, behaviors, duties, expectations, etc. or it may be from recent extended exposure to someone, some group, some environment that is highly volatile, shifting and unstable, or a combination thereof. Either way, living in a world where you don’t know normalcy is pretty damn scary!
Today though, as an adult, if you continue to find yourself relying on the phrase “I never know how you are going to react”, here are some reality based reflections to challenge your thinking:
When I say “I never know how you are going to react”, I am admitting publicly that I am uneducated; I have no ability to think things through; I have never been given the information. I have no ability to have insight. I am saying publicly that I am uneducated, stupid and unskilled.
- Is this true? Are you stupid? Are you uneducated? Are you genuinely clueless of how people are going to react? You are saying to yourself and those around you “I am not sure what normal is”.
When I say “I never know how you are going to react” I am saying that I have no control of my life. I cannot manage my own day to day my way because I do not know what to expect. I am worthless, I am incapable, I am totally dependent on others to be able to move forward.
- Is this true? Have you relinquished control to everyone but you? Are you not worthy of being in the driver’s seat? Who told you you cannot drive? Or why do you think it’s safer to be the passenger in the car? The fear of the unknown is a huge, powerful, debilitating fear that halts every animal in their tracks. You are saying to yourself and those around you “I am not sure what normal is”.
When I say “I never know how you are going to react”, I am really saying I am not going to take responsibility for what I say-think-do, how I say-think-do it, when I say-think-do it, or to whom I say-think-do it to. I am giving myself permission to accept my own bad, inappropriate behaviors as “normal” and the other people’s reaction to my behavior is more important – THEY are “abnormal”.
- Is this true? It’s OK for you to be childlike in your adult world? It’s OK for you to cop an attitude, shoot from the hip, throw a tantrum and expect others around you to act normal? You are saying to yourself and those around you “I am not sure what normal is”.
If you were to begin to replace the phrase “I never know how you are going to react” with “I never know how I am going to be perceived or heard”, then and only then do you feel the reality that you are responsible for the relationship, conversation, interaction you are about to have. Saying “I never know how I am going to be perceived or heard” immediately places the focus on your own actions, not the reaction of others. You can manage your life so much more successfully when you steer the ship by taking control of how you will be perceived.
The reality is that you DO know how the other person will react. If you are cynical, snide, rude, curt, passive-aggressive blatant, loud, ignorant, intolerant, harsh…, the reaction will be less than comfortable for you and you know this! (so you blame the other person’s reaction to give yourself permission to be all of the above).
Secret of Life: You are 100% responsible for thinking, acting, saying and doing appropriately with yourself FIRST so you minimize the harm to others. When you hand that power over to your own excuse of “I never know how you are going to react”, you have just devalued yourself and those around you. Reclaim ownership of who you are, what you believe and how YOU react. Stop being your own best victim. Learn what normal is.
What are your thoughts on this!
I want to hear what you think.