I live in a family of inappropriate reactors...and it got me wondering...where does the tendency to over/under react come from? Is it a nature/nurture thing? Is it a chemical imbalance? Is it our own need for attention and drama? Can we change how we react? But maybe more importantly, can I change how I react to someone else's reaction?
Consider the following:
My son is hanging out after work, sees his wallet laying on the floor across the room, he knows it has his driver's license and $200, and yet doesn't go get it. Two days later, remembers he left it on the floor, is sure someone saved it for him...and when he comes to discover it is gone...he is like...ehh. oh well.
My son's total under-reaction to losing his wallet and his money turns me into a complete fuckball wacko. I get going...have I taught him NO value of money...NO sense of responsbility... NO gumption? ...and really, it doesn't take a lot of gumption to pick up YOUR. OWN. WALLET.
I start thinking...what reaction could he have given me that would have been satisfactory? Do I want him freaking out like I would? "Woe is me, I lost my wallet, whatever shall become of me? " Well, no. I hate that regret belly-ache, and I do not wish that upon this boy. Maybe I just wish this kid would start showing some sense so that when we shove him out the door to college next year the frat boys don't roast him over an open flame and serve him at the first tailgate. ehh. oh well.