Please Join Us!
When: Friday, March 1 @ 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. GMT/11:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: The Art of Self-Regulation
“Wise men are not pacifists; they are merely less likely to jump up and retaliate against their antagonizers. They know that needless antagonizers are virtually already insecure enough.” ― Criss Jami, American writer
About This Week’s Chat
When my sister and I were children, my parents used to plan and book our family holidays well in advance. We’d sit in our bedroom and talk and dream about what we were going to do, as if the forthcoming vacation was the most exciting event we’d ever experience!
We would also save up “holiday money” from our pocket money every month. It was fun keeping money aside without knowing what we were going to spend it on once our holiday began.
A Big Decision
I was 10 years old when my parents took us to a lovely resort with hot springs in a scenic, mountainous part of South Africa (where I live). Apart from the magnificent pools, there were also hiking trails, organized games and horse rides.
My sister had ridden a horse before, but I hadn’t. My parents weren’t too keen on letting me ride for the first time ever at a holiday resort as part of a bigger group.
But one day, my sister and I decided that we would use some of our saved-up holiday money to pay for a horse ride. That afternoon, while my parents were taking a nap, we slipped away.
The stables were busy that afternoon and quite a big group of people had gathered for an afternoon of horse riding. Luckily (although I didn’t think so at the time), the stable helpers gave me one look and decided that a Shetland pony was the biggest animal I would ride that day. My sister, on the other hand, being five years older than me, got to ride a “proper” horse.
Feeling rather disappointed, I got on the pony and went to a separate ring with other children on ponies. The older riders were guided into a big ring where they could get a feel for their horses before heading out into the fields.
A Not-So-Happy Ending
Every now and again the horse riders would come past us as I watched with envy from the small ring. First they walked, then they cantered. And then, as the horses broke into a gallop, I saw my sister losing her grip on the reins.
Not being an experienced rider, she wasn’t able to get hold of her reins again or control her horse with her legs. She had no control over where the horse was going, and it was heading to the gate. How she managed to stay seated for as long as she did I don’t know, but when the horse reached the gate it came to a dead stop and gave my sister a free flying lesson.
The Art of Self-Regulation
If you can’t regulate yourself and your emotions, it’s like riding a horse without reins. You can’t steer it away from disaster and you can’t control where it goes. And once it gathers speed, it becomes difficult to stop. These situations often end with one or all parties feeling bruised, unhappy and dissatisfied, just like my sister and I after our horse riding excursion.
When you can’t self-regulate, you don’t know whether you can trust yourself to do the right thing. This can also wreak havoc on your relationships with colleagues, partners and children.
Our topic for Friday’s #MTtalk Twitter chat is “The Art of Self-Regulation.” In our Twitter poll this week, we asked what is most likely to have a negative impact on your ability to regulate your emotions. Almost 40 percent of participants voted for “When you feel overwhelmed,” and another quarter felt that hunger or tiredness could cause a lapse in self-regulation. You’ll find the poll and all the responses here.
We’d love you to take part in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:
• What does a lack of self-regulation look like? Is it necessarily about losing your temper?
• What happens when you do not self-regulate? What impact does it have on relationships?
• What are the benefits to you of being able to self-regulate?
• What consequences have you experienced when you didn’t self-regulate?
• What self-regulation strategies work the best for you?
• How might you help someone (employee, colleague or friend) to self-regulate appropriately?
• What are the risks of over-regulation?
To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.
How to Join
Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.