Friday, April 13, 2018

K is for Knee-jerk

Have you ever given a knee-jerk reaction?

One of the skills I’ve learnt as a writer is to be patient and edit what I say. It’s a valuable skill as a writer. But it’s made me more cautious about expressing my opinion or giving knee-jerk reactions and I’m not sure that is always healthy. Sometimes, I’ve written out emails and texts which get right to the heart of what I want to say quite bluntly. But fearing the consequences, nine times out of ten, I leave them in draft until I’ve calmed down, sometimes for days and a lot of the time I never send those emails even when I have every valid reason to press “send”.

Primarily, this is because I’ve realised over the years it is often a complete waste of my time and energy corresponding with people who can never see someone else’s point of view, who have zero empathy.

You might as well invest your time in doing something constructive. Like putting out the bins.

However, there it is quite satisfying about giving an honest, full-frontal reaction. And letting go of pent-up emotions can be a good thing because keeping them in can make you seriously ill.

I have had a few situations lately where my intensity of emotions was so great I have given knee-jerk reactions.

And on reflection, I still think they were the right reactions. I was brought up with a strong sense of what is right and wrong and fair and my parents were kind, generous people.

And I realised I should stop consenting to these person’s poor behaviour by not speaking up. Because often these people are bullies. Bullies in relationships or bullies in the workplace. They rely on people’s fear and good nature to get their own way. And if I don’t speak up I am allowing them to continue riding roughshod over myself and others.

So maybe less thoughtful editing from now on. And more shooting from the hip is what’s needed.

Yes, I think so.

So, a question. If you’ve given a knee-jerk reaction, how did it work out for you?

1 comment:

  1. I've had so many knee-jerk reactions in so many ways that my knees have begun to hurt. I've tended to get in trouble from a lot of my knee-jerk reactions.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out / Battle of the Bands


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