Losing it: Minor tremors Or Mass Destruction?

Losing it: Minor tremors or mass destruction?

By Lisa Earle McLeod

Is it ever OK to lose it? We’ve all done it. Whether it’s railing at your spouse or co-worker or screaming like a banshee at your kids. We all have those moments when the days, years or – if you have a short fuse – minutes of frustration build up and you just lose it. All the angry, mean thoughts in your head come tumbling out in a horrible torrent of hurtful words, and you feel better. For about 15 seconds. You may be a kind patient soul who has complete control over your emotions, and who thinks through every single thing you ever say and do. But most of us have, at least on some occasions, lost it and said – or shouted – something we later regretted. But are there different degrees of losing it? And do some outbursts create more problems than others? I think so. When it comes to blow-ups, there are varying degrees of magnitude and, like earthquakes on the Richter scale, some cause more damage than others. Under 4.0 – Minor Tremors: Underground seismic activity that is rarely felt by others, but creates cracks along the fault line that can weaken even the strongest foundation. People experiencing minor tremors should seek temporary shelter as quickly as possible. Scientists concur that five minutes alone in the car or bathroom can quell these small rumblings. Reader note: Should shelter be unavailable, anecdotal evidence suggests that a good stiff belt of bourbon can be substituted in an emergency. 4.0-5.9 – Light to Moderate Quakes: Shouting, screaming, storming off in a huff; often referred to in the South as hissy fits, these outbursts shake the ground, and can cause panic among bystanders. However, the long-term damage is usually minimal. Considered a common-place hazard of parenting, marriage and management, these quakes only inflict serious damage when they occur repeatedly. Anyone experiencing light to moderate shaking is advised that using “I” statements (as in, “I am going crazy”) can prompt emergency aid. However the accusatory use of “you” words (as in “you are making me crazy”) cause others to flee the scene. 6.0-7.9 – Major Magnas: Scary and intense, these quakes cause major damage. Dishes, small appliances, cell phones – and sometimes even computers – are often sent flying. However, the worst devastation comes from the hurtful words flung during the height of the disaster that reverberate for years in the minds of the victims. Scientists speculate that sleep deprivation may be a root cause of major magnas. Residents are advised that taking three deep breaths can quell a magna before it spins into an all-out disaster. 8.0-9.9 – Great Destroyers: Rare in frequency, these deadly events bring down the houses, start fires and leave nothing but smoldering ashes in their wake. Count yourself lucky if you’ve never experienced one. The devastation extends for miles, sometimes even generations, and victims and relationships rarely recover. Anyone sensing the rumblings of a great destroyer is urged to seek professional assistance as quickly as possible. If you are unable to locate help, take cover immediately. What constitutes a 10.0? So far, no one has ever recorded one. So do yourself a favor, don’t let cracks along your fault lines turn into major quakes. Take a breath; take a breather and pay attention to your inner seismic activity. And try to catch yourself before the plates collide.

Lisa Earle McLeod is a syndicated columnist, author, keynote speaker and business consultant who specializes in helping individuals and organizations create happiness and success. Her latest book is Finding Grace When You Can’t Even Find Clean Underwear – For more info – <>

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