Growing up, I’ve always owned the nickname of “chilli padi”. It’s defined as ‘a small but powerful chili pepper’, but more accurately so, it is a term meant to described someone who is small but spunky.
It also just means that I had a fiery temper, and I was quick to blow up at times.
Times changed and so have I. Age and experience has taught me that being The Hulk does not often get me what I want – in fact, quite the contrary. It was initially out of survival that I made the decision to be more logical, less emotional, and train myself up to be more level-headed.
Nowadays, I do pretty okay, but people know that by no means I’m easy prey. I still believe in being firm; just that I have learnt to communicate the reasons to why some actions were taken and certain decisions need to be made.
If there’s one thing I can correlate it to, it will be that I have increased my emotional capacity, or the ability to withstand stresses and challenges in your everyday life without breaking down.
Just the other day, however, due to the ongoing insomnia (anyone else facing this issue?) I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
When I was on a cab rushing down to work, I received some messages which I chose to perceive as a lack of respect for my time. To make matters worse, I got a call which made me feel like I had shirked on my plans, and by the time I got to office, I was up to there with pent up frustration and anger.
I was at my breaking point.
The last straw came when I got a phone call I was not at all ready to take. What ensued can be lightly summed as a thunderstorm I wished had never happened – I felt emotions I didn’t usually feel, and said things I normally wouldn’t have said. Not my proudest moment, but it did happen.
Good news is that both parties were matured enough to resolve the issue properly, and I would say I was very fortunate to have came out of the situation which achieving good outcomes.
I know that I wouldn’t be so lucky the next time, and I started replaying the scenario in my head, pondering over how I could have reacted better.
Should I have not picked up that phone call, and explain myself at a later time after I’ve cooled down?
Should I have explained that I was not in the right frame of mind to speak, knowing that I was feeling like I am ready to explode?
Truth was at that point in time I no longer had to capacity to be as logical as I would like. Thinking through the incident on a post-mortem basis is essentially to equip myself with the instinctive reactions I should adopt the next time such incidences happen.
I was truly fortunate this time I was dealing with such an understanding other party. Even more fortunate that there was something critical that I could learn from it.