People provoke. They utter statements meant to touch a raw nerve, to inflict hurt, enrage us or put us on the defensive. To assign or shift blame or shame us.
Why do people provoke?
They don’t know how to express or handle strong feelings. These may be feelings of being wronged, disappointment. Or we might have unknowingly touched their raw nerve.
Such provocations quickly escalate into uncontrolled fights with both parties feeling indignant and furious. It’s only time that brings sense to at least one member to initiate remedial measures.
Children provoke too.
“You don’t love me.”” You are a bad mommy. I wish she was my mommy”. “You always do it just to hurt me.”
What happens with children though? Children, being powerless, bear the brunt of our fury as punishments. Some of them very harsh. They are in no position to initiate a remedy.
See the difference? The onus is entirely on us to handle these strong emotions for them.
Do children really mean these statements? At that moment may be. Only that moment. We ignore this aspect, take it personally, even though we are the adult. We reason first, yell next and finally punish.
When we ourselves can’t handle strong emotions, the least we can do is to accept that children can’t either. Children will need time for their brains to mature enough to regulate their emotions.
We though, have no such constraints. We can change starting today. So how do we handle deliberate provocations? Wait for the next post!
Meanwhile, tell me how you handle such situations? Let’s talk about that!