When Grenade's Pin is Pulled – Do you Hide and Duck for Cover?
Or do you come home at night, wanting to relax , And yes you are greeted by the Grenade's explosion?
Meeting the Grenade
You come home from a hard days work, seeking just to relax, and take a few minutes to change gears, then you are confronted with the Grenade. Mary explodes:
"Really you come home and you simply switch on the TV?", Ï have been working all day as well, and you really need to pick up some of the slack at home, "And it looks like I am the only one who sees the trash bin overflowing", "Little Jimmy has been sick, I am trying to handle him, make dinner, and all you do is switch on the TV", "I feel that you simply don't care about me, after all I am not your slave!
Does this sound familiar ?
The Grenade is simply after appreciation. When they do not gain attention, then they will demand attention, and when they don't get it, they blow up whilst completely losing emotional control.
It is the adult temper tantrum. Some people hold onto resentment for years, then explode, whilst overs pull the pin daily.
All you have to do is to say something at the wrong time, or it can be things that you haven't said, perhaps your tonality or the way you make a facial expression. At this point anything you say or do will make the situation worse.
It can be humiliating for the grenade, when they realize what they have done. Often Grenades will leave the crime scene as soon as they have finished exploding. This is a self-hatred cycle that they continually find themselves in, with no control.
When Dealing with a Grenade
- Break the Cycle - Stop Blaming them for what they are blaming themselves for
- Forgive them for their moments of insanity
- Take Deep Breaths to release the intense impact from the Grenade
- Writing out an angry letter to self - Then burn it ( make sure you don't show it to the Grenade)
- View the Grenade as a small wind up toy - jumping around trying to gain attention ( like a cartoon)
Signs of the Grenade
Blow up quickly with temper Tantrums. Lose emotional control. Leave the scene quickly after the explosion. Often feel humiliated that they behaved that way. Speak Loudly and demand attention immediately. Anything can set them off, they are looking for appreciation and recognition.
Goal - Your goal with the Grenade - Take Control of the Situation
Your Action Plan
Get Their Attention
When the Grenade is losing control, you may need to raise your voice to grab their attention. You simply call out their name, whilst waving your hands slowing back and forth in front of them.
Ensure your tonality is friendly, otherwise they will see you as being aggressive
Speak to their Heart
Be Warned – Show a genuine concern towards them. Listen closely to understand what set the explosion off. Use backtracking when reassuring them of your concerns.
When you respond to them, back them up - for example "I do really care about you , and it is good to get this out of your system ; into the open" or "We really do appreciate your hard work in the office, it is good that you are speaking up."
Remember your communication needs to be heart felt and genuine
Reduce the Intensity
If you have succeeded in the last step and your words touched their heart, then they will register this, whilst shaking off the anger, with rapid blinking of the eyes. Now they are starting to see the tantrum that they have just performed in front of others.
This is where they may start to feel humiliated. When you notice this change , start to lower your voice, slow down your speed of communication to bring them back down to a more relaxed state.
Now you have taken control of the situation.
Do not Blow up with the Grenade
This will result in:
- Lose of Trust
- If you write a letter to vent ( ensue the Grenade doesn't see it - Burn it)
- Don't add fuel to the raging fire
Give them time out to Calm Down Completely
Whether this is an hour, or a few days - Simply give them time to cool off and to step away from their emotional reaction.
For example "Mary, lets take a break from this now, I would like us to get together next week to see our we can work this out"
Find out what is really going on
Ask Questions to find out what is really going on for example
Mary, how do you know when people in the office not value your hard work? or "Just before you start to lose control, what are you feeling, seeing or telling yourself?"
Keep on using search light questions to gain more specifics. This is supporting the Grenade to gain their won insights
You are activity spending time for the Grenade to start to think before exploding next time. This will reduce the frequency, and intensity of negative behavior.
If this is occurring in a work situation, you may consider team alignment, conflict management or personal coaching for Mary around interpersonal skills.
“You Decide to Step Over the Line
Commitment Leads to Action
Action Leads to Getting Different Results”
Remember your Goal
The Grenade - Take Control of the Situation