We were watching Bridge of Spies (an Oscar winner) the
other night and I heard the most amazing interaction (courtesy of the imaginative Cohen Brothers) that went like this:
James Donovan: I have a mandate to serve you. Nobody else does. Quite frankly, everybody else has an interest in sending you to the electric chair.
Rudolf Abel: All right...
James Donovan: You don't seem alarmed.
Rudolf Abel: Would it help?
I about fell out of my seat! What a brilliant attitude for something he could do nothing about. I thought about all the drama and histrionics (both subtle and not so subtle) we humans display at the slightest hint of a perceived threat. And we are no where NEAR being sent to our death, but rather experiencing a verbal slight.
Now, it is GOOD to have boundaries and to let our mate know when they have said (or not said) or done (or not done) something we perceive as hurtful. But do we need to react with alarm and a dramatic display of displeasure? Perhaps, but when have we ever actually stopped to ASK ourselves..."Would it Help?".
There are probably studies that show an audible outcry to be helpful as I recently heard swearing can relieve stress for homeless teenagers (if THEY swear, not if they are sweared AT).
So maybe it would help and maybe, in your love relationship, it would not. Maybe getting overly excited, angry, critical, or reactive does NOT help. Maybe it even makes things worse.
Twice more in the movie the very sensitive (way ahead of his time ;-) James Donovan suggests that Rudolf Abel might be feeling a high form of anxiety like fear and again, the gently controlled spy quietly asks "Would it help?" and I was taken by surprise each time.
I plan to ask myself this question next time I find myself off to the races with an emotional response, probably followed by "Would That Be Loving To Myself?".
If you have a favorite pithy quote for improving your thought pattern and behavior, please share it with us in the comment section below.
Many Blessings and Remember Who You Really Are,
Nina Potter, Relationship Coach
P.S. If you want help with your relationship, contact me for a complimentary Discover More Love coaching session. You can contact me by phone at 651-214-6803 or by email at nina(at)ninapottercoach.com or through the contact page at http://NinaPotterCoach.com