Updated: May 26, 2020
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Have you ever been caught in a nasty fight? Maybe a simple argument? A disagreement that gets a little heated? Maybe you’re stuck in a whirlwind of negative emotions and thoughts and you can’t seem to get a hold of something positive?
I got in a fight with my brother yesterday while we were hiking. I felt so angry and as though I couldn’t control the situation. And to be fair… I really couldn’t. All I could control was myself. In the moment, my solution was to ignore, ignore, ignore until it got to the point where I lost control of myself and got really angry. I didn’t like the situation. I didn’t like what I was feeling. So what did I do? I ran. I literally ran to the end of the trail. Since I couldn’t control the situation and I couldn’t control my brother (and let’s face it, I lost control of myself too) - I chose to leave.
But alas! I have an alternative for you. Something I wish we could have used with my brother. Something that I believe we can use in our lives every day to take us out of that place and put us into a better place.
Choosing to Restart. Literally - To call out “restart”.
I don’t mean that you just stop your thoughts, feelings and actions and skip over to happy land. You have to follow the process, be open to understanding, learn, and practice.
1. Call restart - When you feel like you have crossed over into anger, hurt, sadness, shame, etc. call restart. Pause where you’re at and analyze the situation. It’s imperative that you take a deep breath at this point and calmly talk through the situation.
2. Recognize - Why are you calling restart? Make sure your partner, friend, or yourself knows why you’re calling restart so you can better understand each other.
This might sound like:
“I need to call restart because I can feel myself getting angry....”
“I’m calling restart because I am hurt….”
3. Process - Why are you feeling/thinking/acting this way? If the other person made a mistake - let them know. If takes a lot of courage for people to express their feelings and be vulnerable and it’s your job to make them feel safe enough to do so for this to work. If you made the mistake - let them know. It’s important to take the blame when you need to. We aren’t perfect and in order for restart to work we need to recognize that.
This might sound like:
“I am hurt because of the words you are saying to me...”
“I am sad because I treated you poorly…”
4. Move Forward - What can you learn from this moment? It’s hard to move forward from something that hurts us if it hasn’t been fully processed.
I like the idea of calling restart because it stops us from carrying on and pushing things too far. My boyfriend and I started doing this when we noticed we were being incongruent in the moment. We used our own word rather than “restart” but we still followed the process. I didn’t realize I could use this technique outside of that relationship until I fought with my brother. Thanks to him, I’ve made some significant learning.
Whether you’re fighting with yourself or with someone else, hit restart.
Comment below with an example of when you have hit restart or any other steps you take to complete the process for yourself!
I leave this idea for you with love,