Learn how to jump off the Emotional Runaway Train with these three easy steps.
Picture this: You are in a pleasant conversation with your spouse, co-worker, neighbor or friend. All is well until the conversation turns a little heated. In the blink of an eye, it has morphed into a full blown argument. One more blink of the eye, you are screaming at each other. You just hopped on what we call the Emotional Runaway Train and are probably thinking, “What just happened? Did I just get dropped into a Real Housewives episode?”
We have all been on the train, at home or at work. Once you notice that you are racing fast on the Emotional Runaway Train, you might think, “How do I get off this thing!?!”
The easiest and quickest method is so simple: CHOOSE to jump off the train. Yep! That’s it. But how?
1. Recognize. Before you can make a choice to hop off the train, you must first recognize when you are on it. You are on this train when you are in reaction mode. You are in reaction mode when your emotions are overtaking your actions, when your mind is “drunk on adrenaline” and you lose the ability to take intentional action. (see How to Transform Your Purple Minion, Part I: Responding vs. Reacting)
2. Choose. Once you have recognized that you are on the Emotional Runaway Train, you have the choice to stay on or jump off. Sometimes, choosing to jump off can seem difficult. As a Conflict Transformer, use the CALM© method to get out of your purple minion state and make an intentional choice to jump off that train (see How to Transform Your Purple Minion, Part II: CALM©). Ask yourself the question that The Clash so eloquently sang, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
3. Stay Off. You have done the hardest part: choosing to jump off the Emotional Runaway Train. Honor that choice and stay off. You may ask, “What happens if the other person who was riding that train with me stays on?” Wave at them and wish them a happy journey. They won’t stay on long because most people do not like to ride the Emotional Runaway Train alone.
Next time you recognize that you are riding the Emotional Runaway Train, stop. Ask yourself, “Should I stay or should I go?” Choose to jump off that train so you can take intentional action.
Oh….and stay off!