Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

Lois                        

Welcome to the podcast, More to Life with Faith and Lois.

Faith                   

I’m Faith

Lois                          

And I’m Lois.

Faith                      

Our podcast explores life’s many transitions that inspire and daunt us.

Lois                       

Great, great to be with you. Faith.

Faith

It’s always good to be with you, Lois. We have a lot of fun.

Lois                         

We really do and very happy to be talking about the transitions we’re all facing in one way or the other. And we really hope that last week as we talked about bringing a new life into the family that that clicked with some of you or somebody you know who is getting ready for that stage of life because it’s a very exciting time.

Faith                    

It is exciting and there’s more that we’re going to be talking about transition.

Lois                        

We sure are. Each of our podcasts on transition are touching on a different nerve and today we’re going to hit one that we all usually experience on a variety of levels. Sometimes it’s personal professional community. It’s everywhere and this is Episode 58. Transition: the Impact of Rage Vs. Civility.

Faith                     

Now I can imagine right now they’re all whole lot of things just popped into people’s minds when they heard that because it did with me as well when we talked about the title of this. We want to break it down a little bit here today and talk about the various areas where we are going to step into this. Oftentimes on a weekly basis and sometimes on a daily basis.

Lois                       

Right? You might be in a car right now and there may be somebody that is next to you in a vehicle who you can tell is really tense. That may be where you experience rage just immediately where you have absolutely nothing to do with it. You just are driving your vehicle and somebody is not a happy person, you know, or maybe you were getting ready to go into a grocery store or a department store. The checkout line is another place that sometimes rage just kind of explodes.

Faith                     

I know it does, doesn’t it? And you see sometimes these reactions of people that are just over the top and you kind of cock your head a little bit and go, what is going on? And that’s the key thing, there is something going on, even the road rage and different things, something is going on in the person that is doing it.

Lois                       

The other thing you might notice is somebody being extraordinarily civil or kind like you’re waiting in line at Starbucks and suddenly you get up to the counter and they say the person in front of you just paid for your coffee. So there are unexpected acts of kindness that also happen that are part of civility that we’re talking about here. And we want to contrast these two because there really is a big contrast of what’s happening. And be ready for that to experience what it’s like, how civility impacts you on a daily basis..

Faith                   

And I think you said a key thing there. It’s both-and that we live in a world where are we going to have both and what we want is we just want everybody to be kind and civil and everything to work smoothly. Well that’s not reality, but it’s also not reality that everything is rage and anger and all these dark episodes that step into occasionally. It’s both – and so it’s learning how to work through that.

Lois                       

So Faith. Let me ask you this. What is your instinct? If you are faced with a raging person behind the wheel in a line or somebody that’s in your face that you actually know?

Faith                    

Whoa, well first of all, try to take a deep breath if you can, but obviously the one thing is that on the road rage thing, there is that visceral reaction that rises up. And I’ve given a lot of thought, like what is causing that to rise up in me, and what it is actually in me is fear. Because I just experienced something with somebody that you could have just killed me. You could have just hurt me. And so there is that natural reaction that rises up and we do want to get defensive and protective. Especially if you have a child or something in the car and you really feel reactive. So when I understood that, then I could put it more in perspective rather than it’s being done to me. It’s more about what was the close call for me. Sometimes I have gotten really upset in the car in the moment. Usually when I’m by myself, and I’ll just say, I don’t like that and maybe a stronger word, but then here’s something I’ve learned to do. I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but I hope you have a blessed day and then I let it go because I don’t want to carry that and I don’t know what’s going on in that person in that moment and so I don’t have the right to judge it. I can be impacted by it, but I can’t assume I know because I don’t.

Lois                      

I feel like I used to always respond in some way, like I had to defend somebody else that was going through something, if I watched a raging situation. Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t step in if somebody was going to be hurt. But I’ve gotten much better stepping back and holding my tongue, waiting to try to figure out what’s going on instead of presuming that I know why they’re angry so I can fix it. And I’ve stopped trying to fix things and I’m trying to breathe through it. Like you just said, I do a big thing about counting to five. That is huge for me that I try very hard and then if at the end of five I still feel there’s some response that needs to be done. I’m more measured at that point than I used to be. I used to just come right back. That was my way. I’d be really fast and I’d let you know exactly what I thought, but I think we live in a place in a world now that that’s too dangerous.

Faith                   

It is dangerous because we have too many people that are wanting to react and then you get into this reaction mode and it becomes explosive. Yeah. We live in a different time.

Lois                      

We really do. I’d like to share a few results that I discovered in this report called Civility in America, 2018, and they’ve been doing this report for the last eight years, Weber Shandwick and Power Tate in partnership with KRC research, put out these annual reports, and this year, 69 percent of those who responded say civility is a major problem and more than half expect civility to worsen over the next few years.

Faith                   

That’s tragic. It’s really because the reality about this is that it’s a choice. We get to choose how we are going to respond or react. And we can respond with kindness, with civility and take that five to 10 breaths that you talked about or we can just react, become explosive and take that person down. With our words or a fight or whatever, and that’s where we have to step into who do I want to be known as, who am I and how do I want others to see me?

Lois                        

And that’s what rage is. You’ve just given a great definition for rage. This reaction that often refers to intimidation or bullying. You’re threatening somebody, either with your comments or with actual behavior, or you’re being offensive and you’re causing harm. I mean, that’s all rage and by the way, all of us have a little piece of that in us. I wish I wish I could say, oh my goodness, absent. It’s not, but it’s what you do with it. The choice element. Contrast that to civility, which you have a great definition for that. Civility is a response. It’s not a reaction and it’s generally a response to a person, so you’ve made a decision that what’s going on involves a human being rather than I just want to explode and pour my venom over you and I don’t really care what you are or who you are.

Faith                    

Exactly, and it’s separating out what are you really mad at and oftentimes it’s not the person, it’s what they’re saying or what they’re doing. That’s what’s ignited the anger. You almost hurt me with your vehicle. You’re angry at the action. You don’t know the person. You don’t know that person. You’re just mad that they weren’t alert enough to take better care on the road. What we don’t know is, how did that happen? Did they make a mistake? Was it intentional? What were they doing? We need more information and we tend to react to the person and call them bad, call them evil, call them whatever, and that is not where we want to be. If we really want to be out of who we want to be known as, we want to respond. And that means I do not know, but I can make a choice here and I can breathe and I can choose to react and I can choose to walk in the opposite manner in which I just encountered this person.

Lois                      

So we’re on episode 58. Transition: The Impact of Rage Vs. Civility and we’re gonna look at a few situations where someone is filled with rage for whatever reason. Then we’re going to contrast that with what it would look like if we responded with civility. So rage looks like a lot of things. It could be an explosion at home, on the road, at work, wherever, and civility is generally an effort to be kind of direct and to be honest, but to do it with this element of kindness, which we often leave out of the equation, Faith.

Faith                    

Kindness really, truly dismantles a lot. If you can be kind in that moment, you are de-escalating the situation by all kinds of ways and that’s what you want to do. You want to be the one that changes the atmosphere and that makes a difference.

Lois                      

That’s pretty exciting. Let’s look at a situation of rage where someone doesn’t get their way faith, they want something really badly. They don’t get their way even when it’s unreasonable, so they explode and that may be what happens when someone’s on the road. They haven’t gotten their way and it may not have been the right of way in the car. It might have been before they got in the car and an argument they had at home on their way out the door, but that will result in rage. So then somebody else comes up, cuts him off just slightly and it’s now double. I didn’t get my way at home, I didn’t get my way in this lane and now I’m going to let it out.

Faith                 

Right. And then you see those two flying down the road and 90 miles an hour trying to outdo each other and you go, oh my gosh, they’ve gotten into something and you can tell and that’s how it can escalate. What you want to do and what we should want all to do is to disengage. Step back. I don’t want to be a part of that. I don’t want to get hooked by that. I want to walk in a different way and be a different person in this and that takes that moment to move into civility of who am I, what do I believe, and how do I want to live my life? If we keep asking ourselves that, that can move us into that.

Lois                       

When we get to that place of feeling that something unreasonable as happened, it’s because we don’t believe who we are so we don’t stand up for ourselves. So if something happens at home where we feel like it wasn’t correct, instead of addressing it and saying, how can we work through this because this is who I am and I want to stand up for who I am in a very kind way. Instead we shut the door, we slam it, we run out and we don’t deal with it and we carry that rage with us. So here’s a way that if something is happening to you in your workplace where someone has said something and you feel it’s really unreasonable, how can you stand up for yourself in a firm way and be direct without tearing that person down?

Faith                

Speak truth. Just speak what is true. Don’t explain it. Don’t try to exaggerate it. Just speak what is true. If you were offended to say, that didn’t work well for me and I’m wondering why you spoke to me in that way. Could you explain that? Because that’s what you want to know. Exactly. We can get hooked and then we come back at them. I don’t like that. You can’t talk to me that way. Well now you’ve just escalated the situation. Whereas when you just speak truth, it brings it down.

Lois                        

And if you’ve taken those few breaths and you’re able to respond to this person who feels something unreasonable has happened, there is a chance that you might be able to resolve this conflict before it gets out of hand. It’s that ignoring the person, turning the same way, running away from the situation, never addressing it that leaves you with this rage that seems to foment and get bigger.

Faith                  

And then it carries over into the next day and the next day because we don’t just resolve it quickly if we haven’t dealt with it and oftentimes when you see a lot of rageful people, but you know people that are reacting with such intensity, I guarantee you there’s a story behind all of that and what you’re seeing is this huge tidal wave that has very little to do with the situation they’re in right at that moment. It has to do with a whole history and it’s just piled up and it just comes as a huge tidal wave. And if you’re in the way of that, you’re going to get hit by it.

Lois                       

You absolutely are, and if you started practicing speaking truth and standing firm and kindly letting people know what your positions are, you’re in a much stronger place to be able to absorb even part of that title wave, even though when it comes like that. It’s a tsunami and you probably would do best to get out of the way when that wave is coming, but maybe to deal later, but that’s why it’s so important to stand up for your truth and for who you are.

Faith                

One of my most favorite mentors, one of the phrases that he is often used is to be at rest on the battlefield. And when you’re at rest on the battlefield, you’re not worrying. You’re just at rest because you already know I’ve got this. And that’s knowing who you are, knowing who you want to be and how you want to be known and nothing can change that.

Lois                     

Oh boy. Remember that! This is episode 58. We’re talking about rage and civility and here’s another rageful situation you might encounter. Someone absolutely explodes if they are asked to be accountable for their actions and that there’s no accusation, but there’s something that’s come up. Would you be accountable? Somebody explodes. How do you handle that in that moment when somebody says they rage at you because again, something probably happened earlier in the day or earlier in the week and they are right at that precipice and they’re ready to take off.

Faith                    

They take offense. If they feel that they’re being held accountable, they’re afraid they’re not going to do it perfectly, and they’re afraid that they’re going to be seen as less than and so they just want to do their own thing their own way. They want to be in control and there’s a lot of other reasons too, why people get into being controlling. It’s usually they were out of control at some other time in their life. Somebody else had control over them, so they break away from that and they go, never again. A lot of this is trying to recognize the fact that there’s something else going on in this person. So a good question to ask somebody who doesn’t want to be accountable is to say, okay, what are your ideas? How would you like me to handle this? Especially in the workplace, we need to get this job done and it needs to be done by such and such a time. How do you see it getting done and how do you see it being done since I have to oversee it.

Lois                       

If you assume the best of people, if you can go in with a civil mindset of I’m going to assume the best of this person so that when the question is brought up, even for them to be accountable, it’s not trying to be accusatory. You can feel it. They’re right on that edge. So it is difficult when someone is raging to always couch everything you do and yet if you want to have any harmony in a workplace where you know somebody is really angry, that’s pretty much your choice.

Faith                   

Yes. And there’s so much conflict in the workplace. If that gets going like you’re not listening to me or you’re not doing it, there’s so much should or shouldn’t do, and don’ts and it’s all performance based. Again, recognize we’re human beings and we want to be understood. And negotiation, compromise, figuring out how to work together can make a huge difference.

Lois                        

And that’s what this whole podcast is about. The impact of living with somebody is a transition. Whether it’s brand new or it’s something that has been seasoning for years and decades and never forget that things do change pretty much on a regular basis. They do, so enjoy it because the impact of a transition of living with somebody will change your life and we absolutely hope it’s for the better.

Faith                 

Yes. And there’s so much conflict in the workplace. If that gets going like you’re not listening to me or you’re not doing it, there’s so much should or shouldn’t do, and don’ts and it’s all performance based. Again, recognize we’re human beings and we want to be understood. And negotiation, compromise, figuring out how to work together can make a huge difference.

Lois                       

I love that. I love that so someone may feel out of control of their relational or physical surroundings and that may cause them to go into a rage. Something happens and their triggers are way off the top. They don’t feel in control and they’re going to let all of us have it, including themselves.

Faith                   

Exactly. It can be the slightest thing that doesn’t even make sense, but weather changes can make people flip and you’ll see sometimes where people get angry during storms and things like that, and that has a lot to do with the whole energy of the storm and and the fear that comes up. When we get afraid, we tend to become more protective and all those hormones get released in our body and so we’re in this reactive mode because of what our surroundings are creating. Losing a football game that you’ve invested in big time and you come out and you lost that rage is heightened, you’ve been drinking and that rage peaks up. You’re so mad at the call that the ref did and boy, I’ll tell you, that can be, it can be a spark and then off you go and you’re reacting. So we need to be more aware of what is hooking us, what is igniting this reaction within us and own it. It’s ours. It’s not somebody else’s. It’s ours.

Lois                      

Yes. A lot of these are triggers. You’re mentioning every single one of these are triggers and we’ve talked about this in the past. When we start to understand what our hot buttons are, what our triggers are, and we own them and we know: weather, a football game, I mean you name it, those things you know are going to tick you off getting a cold. Sometimes we just get mad at ourselves. I mean certain things are going to get us upset, so how can we soothe ourselves so that we don’t turn that discomfort, that hot button into rage because that’s what we do. I think we’re bringing up some of these issues that we can actually all relate to. It’s not just a bad person over there that we’ve designated you are rageful. We have all of this tendency in us when we don’t address those issues that can cause us to ignited.

Faith                  

Yes, and we are responsible for soothing ourselves. We need to know ourselves well enough to know what is it going to take to calm myself down rather than just reacting to what we’re feeling and we tend to say how we feel is our full reality. No, it’s not. It’s a partial reality. What we feel is real, but there’s a lot more that is going on that we need to understand.

Lois                       

And as you’re considering soothing mechanisms, we’re not encouraging you to numb yourself so that you don’t feel it. Because there are many people who numb themselves because they don’t want to feel this rage. They have never addressed how to deal with those hot button issues. So as long as they can numb themselves, then they don’t feel it. Well, the problem is tomorrow we’re going to get another hot button issue. So the more you are in tune with yourself and what triggers you and how to address those things, the better you’ll be able to face some of these issues that you know are going to get. They’re going to get your goad. They just are. They do mine anyway.

Faith                  

And rage is an opportunity to discover something if you will take responsibility for it. We’re not saying you don’t ever get angry or don’t ever feel what rises up within you. It’s more about what you do with it in the moment and then what you will do with it after the fact because it’s an opportunity. Take the time. Where did this come from? What was this about? How old is it? When have I felt like this before and so you begin to go on this journey of discovery so that you can better handle future situations because we want to resolve those things. You want to resolve those buttons that get pushed, that send you into orbit very quickly so that you take that deep breath and have more control and that’s how you get there. It’s not by ignoring.

Lois                      

Not at all. Not at all. One of the other ways that people can express their rage as if their caught breaking a rule. And this can happen to you in your own household where you set up some kind of mechanism for what you do and you’ve broken a rule and someone calls your attention or vice versa. You call the attention to someone else who’s done this. And rage can ensue because there’s all this level of, I’m embarrassed I didn’t mean to do that. It’s your fault. A plethora of reasons of why that happened and instead of just saying, you know what, you’re right. I could’ve done it differently or I could say, I know you’re right. I could have done it differently. Instead, the blame game starts and the rage gets really big.

Faith                  

Because we do believe in that moment that we are being accused of something and we don’t want to be accused. It’s like that feeling of you’re a bad person, the fingers being pointed at you, and that’s that first initial reaction when there is some guidelines that you’ve set up. A good way to approach it as by just saying, I need to check something out. I thought we had an agreement, was I wrong on that?,Did we not agree to this? And so it’s a good way to bring it up. Ask a question. Right, so that you’re entering into, I’m not blaming you. My understanding is we had an agreement. Was that your understanding?

Lois                       

I love that and do this one on one. Yes. One of the biggest things we tend to do is like – let’s bring a whole group in and throw somebody under the bus, collectively. The more you deal with issues that are confrontational and keep them to a minimum of people involved, the less you have the incidents of rage go. It’s when somebody feels that they’ve been accused of breaking the rules, even though maybe they were caught, it was done, and you make an example of them – that rarely does you any good. It doesn’t help a relationship.

Faith                  

This is about the relationship. Everything we do, if we keep in mind all that we do is about relating to the other person. Whether we know them well or whether we don’t know them well, so we want to always protect and make it sacred in a sense of respect, so the sacredness is being respectful and being kind and asking questions, not saying being a wimp and giving in and collapsing. No, you’re going to speak truth, but you’re going to speak truth with kindness.

Lois                      

We do live in a culture right now where we are surrounded by a lot of anger and there is rage out there and some of that is in ourselves as well and we can do something with it in terms of how we express it, how we respond versus reacting and that’s what this whole podcast has been about. To encourage you, whenever you see those moments where you might be ready to let it go, how could you flip that so that you could respond in a different way?

Faith                  

Because rage really stems from, I’m right you’re wrong – and to change that into we have a different thought, a different opinion, and how can we get to know each other as people? We can go a long way if we do that.

Lois                       

Yes, you definitely have the potential to speak truth boldly to anyone without tearing them down.

Faith                  

Yes. While rage plays a big role in our lives, whether from afar or right up close, we have the option to choose civility.

Lois                       

And we hope that as you face rage, you find places to extend kindness and stand up for what is just.

Faith                  

Please share this podcast with someone you feel is doing a fantastic job of encouraging others and thank them.

Lois                       

Please do and if you’d like to get our weekly newsletter, go to our website and sign up and join us next week for Transition, the impact of losing your position.

Faith                  

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Lois                       

More to Life with Faith and Lois is a podcast to support, encourage and uplift you.

Faith                  

As you transition through all sorts of change, we want you to know there is more to life.

Lois                       

We’ll be back next week.