I tend to be on the fiery side of reactive. I know…..I am a yogi, but my temper has been something I have always had to work on. Yoga has certainly helped to round out some of my edges, but I sometimes still react quick with hurt. I am still learning to navigate my reactive tendencies, and here are some tips I have learned along the way. If you are close to me, you probably have seem my Kali-red come out at some point~ and I am grateful to have the lessons as part of my practice.

1. PAUSE YOUR AGENDA AND SOFTEN YOUR OUTER CRUST.
If you are only coming to conflict with YOUR agenda~ then there is no possibility for growth or a new perspective. While in conflict, to LEARN, you have to soften and be a bit more porous than usual, so that new information and helpful insight can soak in. Otherwise you might be very lonely very quick. Now ~ I am not suggesting tossing your experience or feelings and becoming a doormat ~ No ma’am. But do be a little pliable so you can evolve.

2. LISTEN TO THE OTHER SIDE WITHOUT INTERRUPTING
Um- so very hard. sigh. Cause ~ well ~ what about ME, right? Yes, well, they have a ME, too. Be a good listener and model receptivity. It goes miles for softening the entire room and healing everyone’s sadness.

3. BE VULNERABLE ENOUGH TO SEE YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR
As soon as you begin to admit where you can refine and get better, you heal and so do they. Be self reflective and transparent about your personal work~ so you can stop eating, drinking, gossiping, judging and self hating to fill your gaping wounds.

4. ONLY APOLOGIZE IF/WHEN YOU MEAN IT AND UNDERSTAND WHY
Don’t be small and self diminishing, and on the other end of the spectrum don’t be a bully. Apologize for where you have hurt others, and where you can show up better. Avoid vague apologies that gloss the conflict with more confusion and manipulation of victim-hood. Claim to be honest and engaged, and really be so. You deserve it and so do they.

5. DON’T BE A RIGHT FIGHTER EVEN WHEN YOU ARE HURTING
This is hard for me. Because when I am hurt I wanna find ways in which I am still right and justified. Instead, try to be less emotional and more factual, which I think is particularly hard for women. It is so brave to be wrong and own it, and not pin the blame on the person in front of you.

6. DEAL WITH PRESENT TENSE DETAILS, AND DON’T BRING UP OLD STORIES IN A PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE WAY.
I am a pro at not getting this one right. sigh. But, I am trying to dislodge all those historical patterns so they get tossed out with the shame and the blame. 100 % responsibility for my actions/reactions is the name of my new game.

7. DON’T BE AFRAID TO COME FORWARD WITH WARMTH AND LOVE AFTER THE STORM IS OVER.
Forgive yourself and others after you have talked things over. Clear the cobwebs and find your way consciously to a clean slate. Don’t carry the fuss over to the next thing, because it will continue to collect lint like a dryer trap. Rinse your space in sunlight and face forward.

8. BE FUNNY. LIGHTEN YOUR INTERACTIONS BY MAKING FUN OF YOURSELF. THIS MAY BE THE MOST ESSENTIAL TIP, WHICH IS WHY I SAVED IT FOR LAST.
Keep things light and make fun of yourself. It breaks up the energy and intensity, and it’s hard to be upset when you are laughing. Humor is a powerful tool that connects us all.