How To Be Cool, Calm And Collected (When You Feel Like Losing It)

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Love, Self

I am willing to let my irrational fear of birds go in order to be a flamingo.

Today, I met my boyfriend at a little café. He picked a seat for us in their outdoor courtyard. (And I loved the view!) Our food quickly arrived, and as we ate, the couple behind us left without cleaning up after themselves. They left their salad bowl on the table. And then I heard it. The sound I dread: at least ten sets of wings, flocking down right behind me.

I see my boyfriend's face as he realizes what is going on behind me. I turn around to see worst fears coming true. There were 12-13 pigeons attacking this bowl full of salad. (I have an irrational fear of birds.) As they pecked and chirped, I froze in fear.

I can hear my boyfriend asking, "Babe, do you want to move inside?" All I could say is, "No."

"Are you sure? Do you want to go inside? Babe ... " That's when I lost my cool. I did what I advise and help all of my clients not to do. I yelled back at him.

"Didn't you hear me the first time? I don’t want to go inside. I could HIT you right now!"

What in the world was THAT?

Hit you? Hit you? I thought. Who just took over my body? I DON'T talk to my boyfriend that way!

Even though my irrational fear of birds makes me consider pigeons the lowest of low of birds, flamingos actually make being a bird look good. First of all, they’re pink (great start!). They are always just hanging out on one leg, looking cool. They don't forge for food on café tables, and no one made a movie about them eating people. Basically, flamingos appear to be cool, calm, and collected. (3 things that I was NOT when replying to my partner.)

What's all this flamingo and pigeon talk about? When we are faced with a scary situation, we have two options that our body automatically gives us: fight or flight. I chose fight. I acted horribly. I didn't communicate well with my partner, and I took my frustration about a separate situation on him, which really hurt him since it was out of character.

Here's the thing: we are all imperfect.

My job is to help people communicate, and what did I do in my moment of panic? I snapped. We all make mistakes. But you can still be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons. Apologize. Admit you were wrong.

Even though I acted like a nasty pigeon, I'm blessed to have a man who will always see me as his flamingo.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever said something that you regretted right away? Please share your story with us. We can all learn from each other. Be a flamingo!

This article was originally published at Rachel Gibbs Therapy. Reprinted with permission from the author.


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