Getting it all out (diffusing or igniting emotional bombs)

If you’re ever in a situation where someone has reached a boiling point and is trying desperately to express themselves and the emotions they’ve been holding in for too long, please endeavor not to respond with something along the lines of, “You’re not even making sense.”

Ask questions instead of make statements, especially if you don’t understand. Show that you care about the person by aspiring to understand.

You can diffuse the bomb with compassion. Or you can ignite it with stubbornness and rejection. Search for the validity in what the person is saying like your life depends on it.

If you find the validity and show it, you’re a hero.

And if you’re the person that’s been holding it in for too long, you probably already know how much damage you’re doing by exploding out of nowhere.

So if the person you’re spewing fire at makes an effort to understand, thank your lucky stars for that. Don’t take the hero for granted.

And for the love of humanity, work on stopping that “holding it in” business.

I know our default social system doesn’t do a great job yet, teaching us how to process our emotions.

For some of us, it’s exceptionally difficult to know how to communicate about our feelings. Especially when we have baggage with the person we need to communicate with.

Open communication with receptivity and respect on both sides is bliss.

But if your respect and receptivity are not reciprocated…

Or if you simply don’t have the courage or resolve to deal with the problem right now directly with the person…

There are ways you can kick-start the healing process all by yourself.

Write a letter to the object of your beef. Be as viscous and vile as you need to. Say it all. You may even find nuggets of the problem you were not even aware of before.

This letter is not for them. It’s for you. You might think you need to tell the person how you feel, and maybe you do. But not like this.

The intention with this letter isn’t to communicate with the person. The intention is to clean out your own pipes. Scrape out all the hairy muck, so you’re less likely to explode when it’s communication time.

If you do this, that makes you the hero of the situation.

If you don’t like to write, then talk to yourself. Pretend the person is in the room with you, and get it all out. If you think it’s weird to talk to yourself, you might be missing out on some of life’s truest splendor.

In any event, someone needs to be the hero, or else it’s just some old school Jerry Springer shit.


Also published on Medium.