As caregivers, we regularly feel intense pressure to fix or achieve. Yet, despite our best efforts, many of the circumstances we face seem unyielding. Our self-judgment over things beyond our control often leads to an incorrect verdict of failure.

Taking a step away from the caregiving world, consider the “Slap heard around the world” at the 2022 Academy Awards. When Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock on stage in front of a global audience, Chris Rock responded with extraordinary restraint. Maintaining his composure, Chris Rock continued with the show and walked away with nearly universal approval because he didn’t worsen an awful situation. Not only did he handle himself well on stage, but in the ensuing media frenzy, he remained quiet about the event. Rock chose to address the incident on his timing – when temperatures cool.

As caregivers, we regularly face situations that often tempt or provoke us to intense emotional reactions. Taking a page from Chris Rock, we can incorporate a simple strategy into often uncontrollable experiences: Not making it worse, counts as a win!

When we restrain our emotions and master our response to any given circumstances, we live a bit calmer and can add more victories to the “win column.”

“Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint.” - Daniel Webster

 

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