For me, the voice of reason happens to sound a lot like my dad. Maybe this is because he and I are a lot alike, or because he’s my hero, or perhaps because he’s always right (don’t tell him I said that). Regardless, my dad’s words stick in my head even when he isn’t really trying.
Recently I was explaining an encounter I had with a super rude individual when my dad interrupted mid-story with, “Don’t take the bait Beck,” I pressed on with the story but he interrupted again, “Tell me you didn’t take the bait!” DAD, I FREAKING TOOK THE BAIT! Now let me finish my story! But he was right- I knew better.
A day later I found myself ruffled by Dylan’s incessant fuss. I was about to bark at him when suddenly the “don’t take the bait” flag began waving in my face. Dylan’s ongoing spike in tantrums and bad attitude may be begging for a reaction, but barking just doesn’t make any sense. Fires aren’t put out by adding more fuel, so if I want to teach Dylan to be less reactive, the message is best received by being less reactive myself.
But in order for my calm campaign to work I need to demonstrate composure in all aspects of my life. So when I’m cut off by that crappy driver, or my nosy neighbor comes around with her unsolicited advice, I will not be baited into a Dylan-esque reaction. Instead, I will gracefully display a tranquil demeanor and act with intention rather than commotion. Clearly I cannot drown out the piercing (and annoying) voice of reason, otherwise known as Dad.