It’s not the act but the reaction that counts…

A good friend shared that little gem with me earlier this year during one of our weekly girl-talk sessions.  I accepted it, processed it and stored it away in my “be better” toolbox for later.

Later came yesterday, when I discovered my beloved had walked out of the house with the only remaining box of my favorite treats in his pocket.  Right before he left I noticed the sweet smell of candy on his breath and asked if he’d taken the box from its hiding place.   He insisted he only grabbed a handful and left the rest for me.  Later that day, sick with desire, I returned to the kitchen looking for my sweetness.  I pulled a kitchen chair up to the highest cabinet, stepped up, lifted the top of the candy jar and…..nothing.  I JUST ABOUT LOST IT!  “No this ninja did not just take my candy and had the nerve to lie about it at that”.  “I’m going to KILL him”!  “I can’t believe this shit!!” – and it just got worse.  It took about three voicemail and 10 text messages before I calmed down enough to realize I had just threatened to pack my things and leave over a box of Mike and Ikes.  Now I don’t think anyone would argue that taking a woman’s candy is a no-no.  Just the same, I don’t think anyone would argue that loosing your beloved over said candy is downright pitiful.  This was brought to my attention by a good friend  who said,  “Dang homey – you’re like a Mike and Ike crackhead!”

Here’s the kicker….

It wasn’t the act – taking my candy – that would’ve ruined my relationship for good.   It was the reaction – screaming, yelling, cursing-that would’ve ruined my relationship with someone who obviously cares about me deeply.

I know because when I asked him about it, he said:

“Baby, didn’t you just tell me you were giving up sweets?”

“Yeah, so?”

“So, I took them because I knew you’d eat them all in one sitting if they were here.  I know I was wrong for lying about it, but I knew you’d try to fight me if you saw me leave with them and that wouldn’t have been good for either us.”

“So you lied to me, to avoid a fight?”

“Yes, because you never miss the opportunity to have one.”

Whoomp.

There.

It.

Is.

Now, the telling of this story is in no way an attempt to excuse him, or anyone else, from being dishonest.  The truth shall set you free, the light of the truth will always illuminate darkness …yada yada yada.

I tell this story to illustrate how damaging over-reacting can be,  and how easy it is to get sucked in to the abyss of anger, and most importantly, how that anger, if not checked, could result in the making a cold, lonely, bitter mountain out of an insignificant little misunderstood molehill.

No one knows better than me how difficult it can be to maintain the proper perspective when you’re in the throes of anger.  But it is possible with a little work.  If you can find just a second to take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Why am I so angry?”, something incredible begins to happen.

You begin to levitate above the drama and you become a witness to the bigger picture.  All of the sudden you can clearly see what’s going on BEHIND the scenes which puts you in a much better position to  deal with THE REAL problem.

For me, it wasn’t about the candy.  He was right, I had promised myself after a particularly shameful post-Halloween binge that I would cut back on the sweets.  And he was right that I would’ve used my super-human powers of feminine persuasion to convince him to leave the box right where it was.  What really set me off  was the story I was telling myself about his respect for my intelligence and will-power.  It went something like this….

“Oh so he  thinks I’m not disciplined enough to manage my own sugar cravings?  How dare he try to insult my intelligence by assuming that I wouldn’t know that he took the box.  He must think I’m a weak, stupid, fat-ass loser. ”

Or ….Shawna, he was just trying to help.

Just think if I had decided to tell myself the latter?  The very thought would have certainly inspired me to grab an apple instead of the candy.  It would have also inspired me invite my love to help me find better, more *ahem* interesting ways to satisfy my sweet tooth. #youknowwhatimsayin.   Because what man can resist a woman who not only acknowledges but celebrates his attempt (however misguided) to help his woman.

Think about it.

FAB Girls Know, an appropriate response will get you laid much faster than an inappropriate reaction.

Smootches.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. banjeeb says:

    LOL @ almost packed your bags and left over a box of Mike and Ike! Too funny, but I understand. But you are correct, it is more the reaction to things. I’m getting better in developing constructive reactions rather than going straight to using all the words that your parents told you not to. Still working on my sugar issues, and was doing really well, until the anxiety of the election hit me :-/

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