Here in the U.S. most of us are sick of the kind of brinkmanship that has been in the news and that held our government and many of our citizens hostage.
If you’re not sure what this word means, it’s the practice of pushing a dangerous situation or confrontation to the absolute limits of safety, or reason, to force a desired outcome.
We know how this shows up in politics, but how does it show up in our personal lives?
Have you ever done this when you had a disagreement with a spouse or partner? Maybe this has been your parenting style? Did you ever stand your ground and refuse to budge, allowing things to get to a dangerous place with lots of hurt feelings and anger flying around, just to get what you wanted, or to prove a point, even if you knew you were wrong, were being selfish, or perhaps even irrational? Have you ever permanently damaged a friendship or other relationship by these kinds of actions?
If you have done this much, it could be a good time to take a look at yourself to find out why you may behave this way. Our Congressman and Senators might want to do this too. Is this what they observed in their childhoods? Is this how the adult role models in their lives behaved?
It’s time for everyone to grow up now. When we behave this way regularly, we tend to alienate people from us. We often alienate the ones who are most important to us. Sometimes we can’t even see the consequences of our actions. We are too fixated on our own agendas, or on carrying out our vendettas.
People who engage in creating drama all the time, and in furthering their own needs at the expense of the rest of the world often end up alone and unhappy. They often believe they are standing up for themselves and for their beliefs, but are they? People they care about choose to move out, or to divorce, rather than subjecting themselves to this stuff indefinitely. Kids may start distancing from parents if they see this pattern too much. They may start pulling in, maybe feeling hopeless, without any power and that there’s nothing they can do to change their lives, or the world. They may reciprocate with rage and rebellion. Maybe they learn to act this way too. That’s why we try to teach our kids that their feelings and opinions are fine, but they can’t express them by hurting others or by holding others hostage, and they can’t always have their way.
When politicians behave in this fashion, their constituents stop voting for them, and lose respect for them, or they certainly should.
If you are someone who holds your breath till you turn blue, just to get what you want, no matter how close to danger you may be, or how you stress and torment those around you, it’s time to stop. Please!