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A Lesson In Composure

When I think back to the past few months for things that I’ve learned, composure stands out as the most valuable lesson so far. It extremely valuable to avoid emotional reactions when receiving disappointing news… and there’ll be a lot of that in life, best to get used to it early. A couple scenarios will help drive the point across.

Death in family
Losing a loved one can be a confusing time for a family. People will look for guidance and support, most easily provided by the composed person able to suppress emotions in public. I’m not advocating a person suppress their emotions altogether, but postponing their sadness is a sacrifice for the good of the family as a whole is a very deep sacrifice. My aunt recently guided my family though the loss of our grandmother and I’m certain she was torn inside, she’ll always have my respect for her sacrifice.

Career setback
Missing out on a promotion can set a person’s career back for months or years. It would be easy to slack off or lose respect in the workplace out of spite, but this could cost more in the long run by losing key references or even seeding a negative future reference. I see some of my colleagues suffering through this now and encourage them to either tough it out or make a professional, fresh start. Above all, don’t be childish about not getting your way.

The worst thing to do when someone is ranting at you is to rant back, the situation will undoubtedly spiral out of control. Understand the ranting person is incapable of thinking rationally, they minds are focused solely on venting their anger or frustration. Let it wash over them and consider them unconscious for the duration. When they come to, if they are in any way normal, they’ll realize they were being childish.

This is an easy one, try smiling or complimenting the metaphoric person at the DMV counter. They must dislike their job, and you wouldn’t make their day any better by losing your cool, either.

Moral of the story
Keep your cool, it pays dividends

  1. Miguel
    August 19, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Well said… In times of pain and adversity is when someones true character surfaces… During the good times it is easy to be cool and friendly but what do you do when life is not comfortable anymore? Do you buckle and become something other then what you have advertised yourself to be to the world or do you hold steadfast to your core values? Life is a roller coaster do not admit your values onto that ride…

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