I Gave Myself “No Respect”

by on February 8, 2017

I Gave Myself “No Respect”

frustratedmanThose of you who have come to know me through my blogs and newsletters, know I am a fan of comedy. One of my favorite comedians was the late Rodney Dangerfield. I was thinking of Rodney this week. Dangerfield’s humor, for those not familiar with his work, was completely self-deprecating. Rodney would start out his act with the phrase “I’m doing all right now, but you should have seen me last week.” I know it is appropriate in terms of my behavior over the last week. It was a week where I let my emotions get the best of me on a couple of occasions, and where I acted anything but “coach like”.

It actually takes “work” to not let your emotions get the best of you in stressful situations. Human beings are wired to actually react with “fear” when facing unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations. The portion of the brain that controls your emotions, “the amygdala”, triggers into action more quickly than the more rational and reasoning portion of your brain. And, when that does happen, and if left “unchecked”, some of what happened to me occurred.

So just what happened to me. I faced two major items that I reacted to in a stressful manner. One was at my own home. My wife and I own a condominium. She has owned it longer than I, as I moved into the home she was living in when we married in 2009. Each of the unit owners in our small complex get 2 parking spaces, which are marked in our underground parking lot. The lot is small, and not all spots are created equally. Additionally the parking lot is used for storage of the garbage dumpster we all share. The dumpster is located directly behind one of our two parking spaces, making pulling in and out of the parking space challenging.

Not all our owners have cars or use their parking spaces regularly. However, there is no desire by any of them to make a trade of spaces. Some want their space available if relatives visit. Others look to rent their space out. My wife and I are of a belief that those who live here regularly and pay taxes on the property should have the better parking spaces before remaining spaces are allocated out for rent or saved for visitors. Our neighbors disagree, as they see it as part of the resale value of their unit. Their beliefs made “yours truly” react somewhat strongly and demonstratively in his statements to the other owners at a recent condo meeting.

My other reactionary item occurred far away from home. My wife and I went to Miami, Florida for a wedding for the weekend. We arrived late the evening, the day before the date of the wedding. After getting our rental car, the first item that happened was incorrectly following signs leaving the airport leading to us having to retrace our route. Once that was rectified, the next stop was from the airport to the hotel. We passed by the location where the hotel was supposed to be 4 times before pulling over to the curb determine our problem. I was extremely frustrated and very flustered. After a few moments my more rational thinking process started to kick in as I began thinking through what had happened. I got out the hotel info I had with address and phone number. I checked the address on the info I pulled up. I then compared it to the address I had for the directions. And, immediately, problem solved. I had transposed the address number on the directions. While I had located a valid address, it was not the property I was seeking. Calmly, I composed myself, got oriented again, and arrived at our destination.

Getting back to Rodney Dangerfield the comedian. His tagline in every act he ever did was “All I get is “NO RESPECT”! NO RESPECT AT ALL!” In a way I had “disrespected” myself, my training as a coach, the way I have tried to teach myself to react to stressful or new situations. And, while I am human, and I realize that things like this can happen to the best of us, it reinforced the message to look to evaluate the situation first, before reacting. Ultimately, it was only when I was rational in my approach was I able to resolve one of my issues. (The one in terms of the garage space is still under discussion, but the condo management company is looking to come up with an equitable solution).

When that emotional response area of your brain “the amygdala” takes over it is actually a signal to you in most instances. Take a step back, take some deep breaths, analyze the situation, and then start addressing a course of action. That is a lesson I hopefully took from last week that I will carry forward.

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