“i am through you so I”— E. E. Cummings
As Sue Shellenbarger wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal article,
It’s a paradoxical fact: When someone is getting stressed out, one of the least effective (and perhaps most annoying) things to say is “Relax.”
Have you ever done it? How did it turn out?
I teach workshops and coach individuals on the art of centering: how to return to calm composure under pressure; how to hold a difficult conversation without stressing out, remain flexible with life's myriad attacks, and remove the hot buttons that hold us hostage in conflict situations.
I was promoted to third-degree black belt in Aikido this month! Which should mean I'm pretty good at staying relaxed in most situations, right? Well, there's a cute Aikido quip that goes like this:
What did the 10th-degree black belt say to the 9th-degree black belt?
That's right--it never ends. And, it isn't the best way to encourage someone else to calm down....