Do you ever go to the beach and just sit and watch people surf? It’s incredible how they can catch a wave.. and just ride it forever. As interesting as this is to think about, I’d like to take you to a different place entirely to observe surfing. A place in our minds where many people have learned to…. “Surf Their Emotions”. Let me explain…
When we experience an unfortunate event in our life, the proper…understandable, reaction to that experience would to be emotionally upset. You come out into the parking lot and discover that someone has dented your car.. Grr! Your reaction ranges from anger to disappointment. Again, this is a very appropriate response, as our emotions have been effected by something disappointing or unfortunate.
But, have you ever met someone in your life that just can’t emotionally let go of something that has happened to them… years ago? They are still as upset today as the day that it happened. Some people choose to spend their life focused on telling people how they have been wronged. They’re conversations are filled with bad events that have happened to them, and how upset they still are about it.
I call this, “Emotion Surfing”. These people are riding this emotional wave forever! They can’t get off of it. And, can I boldly say that, others don’t like to be around people when this is their routine conversation that they are having? Emotionally upset with something that happened every time you talk to them? It’s true.
Relationships are judged by people from experiences that have while they are together with one another. I’m spending time with a person. Most of our interactions that we have are listening to that person be emotionally upset about something in their life. My experience with them is not really enjoyable for me. Therefore, I would choose not to spend a great deal of time with them. Wouldn’t you rather have people wanting to spend time with you because they are having a good experience interacting with you?
So, what’s the secret in avoiding this? Here it is….
When an unfortunate event happens in your life, still respond with your regular emotion. Being upset is actually instrumental in moving you to the next step, which is “Your Plan”. You’ve again discovered your car being hit. You’re upset, it’s unfortunate… You’re sad. But then, you jump off of the emotional wave and say… “I’m going to call my insurance company, schedule a time to have it repaired, and get it fixed.. Then… “LET The Emotion GO”.
“The Plan” stage reduces, if not eliminates, your poor emotional state. It puts you into a proactive mode of thinking positive thoughts regarding how you are going to make things better. The quicker that you can get off of the emotional wave of being grumpy and jump into to the plan stage the better.
Look, life isn’t fair… right? Things don’t always go our way. It honestly doesn’t matter how much you complain about it… unfairness will always be in our future. Your complaining is only driving others away from wanting to be near you.
Here’s another trick in managing your emotions. Why do we get so upset when something in our life breaks down? Why is it such a surprise and the end of the world when it happens? Can I just say everything mechanical that we own will fail at some point? Things wear out. Nothing lasts forever. Do you honestly believe that when you buy a car, that you will never have to replace the tires, brakes, wiper blades, battery, and on and on?
I suggest that you consider doing this…Every day, or week, expect something to happen to you that is unfair, or that one of your earthly possessions will need to be fixed. If you expect it (because honestly it happens anyway) it will not send you into an emotional meltdown…. Rather, you will acknowledge, “Ok… here it is. Time to move to a plan to get through it”.
Be realistic and know that door dings will happen; Your partner will wash white and dark clothes together in the same load: That perfectly planned party will get the “rain of the century”; The brownie that has your name on it in the break room at work will be eaten by another employee; A rock will come out of nowhere and crack your car windshield; You will get a flat tire when you are in your best dress; The toilet will plug with the plunger in the bathroom upstairs; You will get the biggest pimple ever on the day of the prom; Someone will cut you off on the road while driving; You will get stuck in traffic when you are running late to a very important meeting… and “you name it”! (Did I make my point?)
These things will come up. Be emotionally prepared for them, and jump out of the victim role and into your plan role. You will be a happier person, and others will certainly want to be around you more. We manage our money, time, and many other things. Try these things in managing your emotions. Being happy is refreshingly fun. You can be in control of that. Please let me know the difference it is making in your state of happiness.
4 thoughts on ““Emotion Surfing””
Well said!!! I’ve had a year of this going on with my body parts…. knee replacement, broken ribs, tooth implant, and skin cancer in my face.
My word for this year has been “embrace” and I’ve just done that with every bump in the road that comes along my way. It’s helped me to have a plan and heal quickly. It’s helped me to have a positive attitude and move forward each day:) My daughter Trish always says “ it could be worse!” and I agree. Embrace the moments and enjoy moving forward in your life.
Wow I love this Ray! Reading your words just made me feel very calm! It’s so true! Sometimes when things go “ wrong”, a sense of humor helps me also! Thank you!!!