I got jacked. Emotionally Hijacked that is.
Have you ever lost emotional self-control? Like, completely lost all rational thought and reasoning and resorted to reacting and responding to others out of anger, frustration rejection or disappointment? I have lost count on the number of times I have lost emotional control due to one of my buttons being pushed. As a matter of fact—it happened to me this past week. With my own almost 21 year old daughter.
Why is it that the ones we love the most often feel our wrath the most? I literally could feel my blood pressure rise with every decibel that my voice volume would rise. Sheesh. I blew it again. I should know better because I train others on crisis management strategies all the time! Why in the world did I fail to take my own professional advice concerning the rule of thumb for handling any crisis situation which is to manage myself first?? Duh!! It was an EPIC fail on my part as a mom. I know it. And I own it. And now my relationship has been bruised as a result. SMH.
Anger as Madness
So, my daughter and I had an argument about something where I felt very disrespected and I allowed myself to become very angry. I mean FURIOUS. Do you hear me? Furious! If you’ve ever seen the animated movie Inside Out, you will recall how anger looks personified. That was me at that moment. If you haven’t seen the movie, here’s how I think I looked at that moment. http://
Simply defined, an emotional hijack is when the rational part of our brains becomes overpowered and controlled by our emotions. We literally stop thinking and start reacting out of our emotions. It’s definitely not a cool, calm or collected response by any means.
There are a lot of reasons why we get hooked or hijacked emotionally. But whatever the reason, an emotional hijack is when a strong emotion causes us to lose emotional control and respond to others in unhealthy and unproductive ways. The best way to prevent an emotional hijack (and avoid relational damage) is to identify our emotional triggers so we can learn effective strategies for controlling our emotions so they don’t control us.
Raising your EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient)
So how do you become more emotionally self-aware and maintain a sense of emotional control to avoid these emotional hijacks you ask? I’m so glad you asked. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to process your triggers so you can create a plan for managing your emotions during times of crisis, confrontation, and emotional distress.
What are my emotional triggers? What types of interactions, situations or treatment causes me to lose control emotionally?
- How do I respond when I’m triggered? To myself? Others, God?
- How are my triggers impacting my relationships?
- My energy? My work life? My thought life? My spiritual life? My well-being?
- How has God instructed me to handle emotional stress, burdens, concerns and distress?
- What are 3 strategies I can practice to help me prevent an emotional hijack?
- Who can help me grow in the area of my emotional self-awareness and emotional self-management skills?
Additional Resources and Tips to Raise your EQ
For additional ideas on how to identify and manage your emotional triggers—take a look at this blog post with recommendations from the God-Father of emotional intelligence himself-Daniel Goleman.
You can also check out these videos on how to maintain control of your emotions so you can avoid the emotional hijack. I guess I’ll go on to prepare for my apology now. Because no matter how others may influence the way we feel, we are solely responsible for how we respond. Let’s respond wisely.
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