73 Days ’til 40: Turning Down the (Emotional) Heat

10 Dec




When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat. ~ Ronald Reagan

When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat. ~ Nelson Mandela

I am a leader.  Leaders always get heat.  They’re always going against the grain.  Jimi Hendrix got heat; Bob Marley got heat; Miles Davis got heat.  Every great artist got heat.  Heat means you’re doing something right. ~ Ziggy Marley

The other day I was in a cafe staring at the outdoor heaters (see abstract photo above).  While I stared at the heaters, I started thinking about all of life’s circumstances that cause heated emotions.  There are times when we all get a bit over-heated.

I have to say, I have a very long fuse.  I very rarely get REALLY angry.  As such, when I am very angry I am out of my comfort zone.  I have found, however, sometimes anger is necessary in relationships.  I recently had to confront someone over a pattern of repeated inappropriate behaviors.  When asked gently to make changes, nothing occurred – that person did not take me seriously until they saw my anger.

Once I had an employee that was not working out.  I had called in the employee on several occasions and explained the improvements needed, I even brought in a specialist to support and give extra training to the employee.  I told the employee that if changes were not made their employment could be in jeopardy   Yet, when I had to fire the employee, they were shocked.  They said to me, “but you didn’t yell at me, so I didn’t think you were really going to fire me.”  My personal philosophy is that if a situation with an employee escalates to the point where only yelling will bring about change, then that is not an employee I want to work with.  I prefer collaboration.

There are many realities with heated emotions.  Have you ever noticed that some individuals seem to CRAVE and THRIVE on heated emotions?  I have seen a few people around me lately who seem to create drama around them because they clearly are gaining something from the experience   Perhaps they need constant doses of adrenaline or are addicted to the feelings of chaos or the ensuing attention.  It is hard for me to create alliances with such people, as I prefer to surround myself with individuals who have a more even temperament.

I see some couples who are caught up in relationship chaos – always fighting with one another (and torturing their children who are forced to witness it).  I cannot imagine a relationship like that.  Every relationship has its moments, yet at the center should be a stable foundation of love and support, not constant arguments.

Today, 73 days ’til 40, I am thankful that I have a long fuse and that it continues to get longer as I get older (I suppose we all learn to choose our battles wisely!)  I am taking this opportunity to remind myself that I can choose my friend.  I can choose to surround myself with grounded individuals and distance myself from people who have their heat turned up too high.



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20 responses to “73 Days ’til 40: Turning Down the (Emotional) Heat

  1. buckwheatsrisk

    December 10, 2012 at 00:41


  2. walkwiththerabbi

    December 10, 2012 at 03:29

    We are the average of the 5 people we spend most of our time with – We all need to choose VERY wisely!

  3. sakuraandme

    December 10, 2012 at 05:11

    I hate fighting and confrontations! I’m sooo not like that! ….Paula x

  4. Valley Brown

    December 10, 2012 at 05:49

    I suppose there have always been people who crave more drama in their lives, to make them feel alive, but it seems to be an expanding phenomenon. We are surrounded by exaggerated drama every hour of the day, and the majority of people react as if it is the new norm. How sad to think a person would prefer anxiety and conflict over joy and cooperation. I’m not talking about making the world one huge commune of “Peace and Love” but just one in which we see the fallacy of creating unnecessary angst. Superficial drama is so counter-productive toward having a great life experience.

    • 400daystil40

      December 10, 2012 at 22:41

      Yes, it does seem to be expanding, doesn’t it? (Either that, or I tolerate it much less since I have gotten older!) I agree with you – why can’t we all take a drama break?

  5. sharonhughson

    December 10, 2012 at 15:55

    I have noticed that the people who don’t take me seriously until I raise my voice are often the ones who say, “You don’t have to yell at me.” This raises the frustration level considerably. All of us are guilty of not giving the appropriate attention to communication sometimes, but I grew up in an environment where things got heated. I didn’t want that for my kids. When I hear my voice raising, I try to stop and do an emotional check.
    Thanks for reminding me that I don’t have to raise my voice to turn up the heat in a situation.

    • 400daystil40

      December 10, 2012 at 22:40

      Oh wow, you bring up such a good point! Now that you mention it, I have experienced that as well. And, yes, we all need those reminders! I know I do!

  6. saymber

    December 10, 2012 at 20:35

    “There are many realities with heated emotions. Have you ever noticed that some individuals seem to CRAVE and THRIVE on heated emotions?” they are called “energy vampires” and toxic to be around! As I get older my fuse gets longer too 400. Phrases like “I’m too old for this shite” and “Meh, it’s going to take too much energy to get pissed about this” come to mind lol. I use to have a VERY short fuse and then I lived with two senior cocker spaniels and had them pass out of my life in the same years. They helped me realize there is little in life worth making a fuss about….life is too short and too precious.

    • 400daystil40

      December 10, 2012 at 22:37

      hehehe – I had to laugh at your “energy vampires” term – that is great!!! I LOVE it! You are so correct, like it too short!

  7. Another Thousand Words

    December 11, 2012 at 23:51

    Love your wisdom in this post, 400…and especially LOVE the image…kudos for extremely fine work here!

    • 400daystil40

      December 12, 2012 at 23:59

      Thanks!!! 🙂 And thanks for all your photography encouragement – I am having fun with it! 🙂

      • Another Thousand Words

        December 13, 2012 at 04:20

        That’s great, 400…and I did a ‘good deed’, so I’ll pat myself on the back, OK? Keep going at it…they are getting very interesting!

  8. simon7bankss

    December 13, 2012 at 22:50

    Maybe in the U.S. it’s commoner for bosses to yell at their employees. Here it would be considered grotesque misbehaviour except in the armed forces or a very small private company where anything goes. What if the employee yells back? Dismiss him and give as the reason, “When I yelled at him he yelled back”?

    Yes, we sometimes need anger. Being angry at a terrible misjustice is right and necessary. It’s also noticeable that people and peoples who let out their feelings easily in angry shouts and gestures are less likely to bottle up their anger and take terrible revenge.

    I too like the term “energy vampires”. The worst kind, maybe, are the ones who angle for a situation in which they can be victims – but when someone offers a way out, feel more comfortable pointing out that it won’t work or treating the attempted help as an unfair attack.

  9. artistspromenade

    December 13, 2012 at 23:07

    The older I get the less interested in chaos and drama. It is emotionally taxing and it takes up oodles of time. It is one of the reasons to allow some friendships to come to a natural conclusion and let go. Some people want to ride that merry go round forever.


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