Is ‘reacting’ to a situation, necessarily the same as losing your cool? You don’t think of it as such when your ‘reaction’ is to laugh at someone’s joke for example. It’s not considered ‘losing your cool’ when you’re expressing emotions of happiness in response to something you hear from a friend. It’s only considered ‘losing your cool’ when you burst into tears or a raging fit of anger.
If you think about it though, it’s all one and the same; if your ‘cool’ is your ‘zero’, aka natural state, then by going in either direction of that point whether it’s positive or negative; you’re technically losing your cool. We just don’t pay much attention to those who lose their cool in an uproar with genuine laughter; it’s the ugly, angry behavior that’s really noticeable and off-putting. And while it may sometimes be socially acceptable or more so ‘forgiven’ to lose your cool among your friends, it is never okay to lose your cool in a work environment. Even if you are literally caught on fire, you have to brush it off your shoulders like the ‘dirt’ that it is, because the moment you lose your cool is the moment you show weakness; it is during that moment that you willingly stoop down to the level of all other mortals who consistently choose emotions over logic.
By all means, it isn’t easy. I’ve been known to lose my shit a few times here and there. I do however tend to look back at those situations and I constantly realize that no matter how justified it may have seemed at the moment, in the end it’s never worth it; ever. Even if you were 99% in the right of a situation, the moment you choose to react instead of walking away is the moment you become 100% wrong.
However, let’s say you’re on the verge of a potentially hostile situation with someone who doesn’t know any better. Whether or not they ‘should’ know better is beside the point. People are generally too consumed in their own shit to pay attention to what goes on around them. I mean, it’s one thing if the person is retarded; you’re not gonna get mad at them for not having social skills. But if they’re not in fact retarded and still behaving like one, getting mad still doesn’t get you anywhere. You shouldn’t get angry with someone of no importance or value just because they can’t control the tone of their voice or the diarrhea that comes out of their mouth. That’s on them. They’re the ones that should have to walk around carrying the burden of having been an emotional moron; you shouldn’t stoop down to their level of stupidity and inappropriateness by raising your voice in response and participating in the type of behavior which you’re disapproving of in the first place.
When given the chance, and you’re always given the chance, walking away from a hostile situation instead of partaking in it automatically puts you in the win. The key is when you start feeling your emotions bubbling up to the point where they’re about to spill out from the safe zone and into the war zone, to just grab them by the neck, choke them and shove them back into the dark place that they came from. Then, when the fire dies down, you can let them out for a walk where you can calmly analyze them and decide just how valid they actually are.
Even though at the end of the day you’ll still find your emotions more valid than not, the mere fact that instead of letting them out during an altercation you acted like a bigger person, just ups your validity as a solid human being. If you do anything other than that, you’re allowing your emotions to take control over the logical portion of you. And you can justify it all you want by saying things like “I had to stand my ground”, “I’m not a doormat; I can’t keep allowing this person to think they can behave this way” and “I was proving a point”, but the only point you’re proving is that you’re no better.
Bottom line – stay cool.