Imagine you are dining out with your family or on a date. The waiter brings you a “fresh” cup of coffee and it’s luke-warm. How do you respond to anything like this? Shrieking and yelling would be completely unreasonable, right? If you keep in mind all the solutions to your coffee mishap, responding reasonably would be easy. Being reasonable is thinking solution, solution, solution.
But how many of us do this? We shriek and overreact at something that is completely within our control, or someone who we can reason with.
The dictionary online describes being reasonable as having fairness; and as not extreme or excessive. At times, I am found completely guilty of being unreasonable. Emotionally extreme, I can overreact to a problem that is easily resolved -the opposite of reasonable.
Are you with me? What do your unreasonable moments look like? A pile of papers splash on the floor. The dishwasher breaks right when you get some extra cash. The dog trips you and knocks over a cheap vase. Starbucks gives you the wrong drink…(Hey, it happens; we are too spoiled in this country.) Moments like these get too much emotional attention. These mishaps and accidents shouldn’t color our day with dissatisfaction. Shriek from room to room, or store to store does NO good.
When I see others handling their mishaps with a balanced attitude and understanding, what stands out the most is their ability to let go of the problem and their self-control. When they respond reasonably, the current situation becomes bearable, tolerable, and easy to handle. Their company is pleasant, secure, and comfortable. These people are problem solvers. They have confidence in their resolve despite the “terrible” problem. They see solutions. (The creativity these days to problem solve has gone dormant, but when its used it is so pleasant.) I’d like to add to the ranks of these that subscribe to reason. How about you? Could you tighten it up a bit and become more reasonable too?
Being reasonable is about seeing the solution and not the problem. If you focus on the problem, then it can look horrific no matter how small it is. If you focus on its solution, the problem becomes smaller. Being reasonable almost guarantees you won’t have a hell-bent day. Being reasonable has perks too: You become a problem solver. You are pleasant. You lower your stress. You become more confident. Who wouldn’t want these things in their life?
This week when the little stuff begins smoking, I won’t freak out and yell, FIRE! Using self-control, I plan to hold back excessive emotions (and words). This week while thinking of the solutions instead of the problem, I become the change I wish to see. I see it like solving algebra. If I keep plugging the solutions into the formula (problem), one of them will solve it. Be pleasant. Be stress-free. Be confident.