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Stop Reacting and Start Responding

When you react from a really emotional state, you can do some damage to the people around you, and then you end up regretting how you showed up. In this episode with Micah Gosney, we’ll show you some ways we have reacted and flipped our lids and how we  show up differently now by responding on purpose. If you are really reactionary or have a very reactionary person in your family, this episode is for you. Learn the techniques we use to ground ourselves when we feel emotionally triggered.

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Youtube video: The Frightened Family

Full Transcript


reacting, breathing, flipped, brain, reactionary, panic mode, recognize, feels, skit, people, detours, talking, parents, lid, relationships, hospital, bleeding, higher, thinking

Welcome to Parenting Through the Detour, you’re listening to Episode 43. I am not Tina Gosney. And this episode is called Stop Reacting and Start Responding.

Howard W Hunter said, “Your detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow way back to him.” And we know that men and women are that they might have joy. But when you get taken on a parenting detour, it feels like joy is something that other people get to feel. But not you. It doesn’t have to be this way. Join me on this podcast. And let’s find some joy through your detours. And I’ll give you some help along the way. I’m your host, Tina Gosney. And I’m a life and relationship coach, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Welcome back to parenting through the detour, I have my favorite guest on today. My husband, Micah, hello. And we just have fun doing this together. So we’re going to have a fun podcast today, Micah has lots of good stories for you. So just get ready for that because you’re in for a treat. And I want to tell you, before we get into that, I want to tell you a little bit about this beta program that I’ve been doing with these amazing women that are in this program.

And this program is called healing your family relationships, really talking about healing relationships with parents, with spouse, with siblings, with children, there’s so many people that are struggling in their family relationships. And this program addresses the very core needs of what we need to heal, for those relationships to be better. And when you have strong family relationships, it feels like everything in your life is better.

Like if you have that strong foundation in your life, it feels like when the hard times come, which they do, you just have that foundation to help you, you know that you have a soft place to come home to and people that care about you, and that you would just have a strong foundation with your family. And that’s really what we’re addressing is how do you get that strong foundation with your family?

Even when it feels like there are people that are in your family that are hard to deal with and hard to get along with? How do you still create that. So if you didn’t get in on this beta, that’s totally fine. Because the full program is coming out in June. And you’ll have an opportunity to sign up for that program. It’s going to be small groups won’t be any more than six people.

And you’ll have an opportunity to do that. But before that’s happening in the next month, actually in the next two months, I’ll be doing a masterclass. That’s a mini version of what this program is. And so I want you to get on my email list. If you’re not there already, make sure you go get on my email list because the people on my list will be hearing about this first, they’ll be having first dibs on signing up for the masterclass which will be free by the way, and signing up for the group program.

So if this sounds like you that you need some help with your family relationships, and you’re struggling there, for sure, go get on my email list. There’s a link in the show notes. And you’ll be able to find it there. Okay, we’re gonna get into this topic today that we’re talking about with Micah. And I gotta tell you, we recently became empty nesters.

So just before Christmas, our last child moved out. And it’s kind of opened up a new world for us, we can have conversations at anytime without being interrupted. And we could just say whatever we want with our worrying about who’s listening to us and, and editing our words and the things that we say. But one of the fun things I think about this has been just we’ve been spending a lot of time reminiscing about the last 32 years of the summer. We’ll be married for 32 years. So we’ve been revisiting a lot of stories. And we’re going to talk about stories today and things that have happened to us and how we handled them. Mike has got a good story for you

When Tina and I were young, we had our first child. And at the time, I was working on Dillard stores with my brothers and my dad. And there was a store it was called arrowhead Mall. And it was out in Glendale, Arizona, which was very far away from where we lived at the time. And my parents were renting a house out there because it was more convenient for them to rent a house out there, then travel back and forth. But my brother and I were driving out to an hour to go to work every day. So sometimes we would stay with my parents, and it was more convenient.

And at the time, Tina came out with our, our child, our one year old or one year old. And we were visiting my parents over the weekend, and staying there. Our baby was walking on the hearth of the fireplace, and she walked off backwards, and she fell and split her lip. Blood everywhere. It was very bloody head wounds bleed, and she had just split right gassed her lip right on her bottom lip. She hit it just right. And it was bleeding profusely. So my dad and I, who are not good with blood at all. And very reactionary, jumped up, grabbed her, I grabbed her my arms. And, and you ran out the door. And we ran out the door, the both of us and said to me, Stay there, stay here,

stay where you’re at. You don’t need to come. I’ll take care of this. And I wasn’t thinking at all. I had let my emotions take over my brain, which was very tiny as well. And we were in the middle of nowhere. It really I mean, it was a lot of dirt farmland. This is the days before cell phones and Google Maps and Siri and you had no idea where the hospitalist?

Well, my dad thought he knew where the hospital was, but he did not know where the hospital was. I had no idea where I was. And so we just drove is just sort of driving around driving without me. And with our bleeding baby.

Yes. And it wasn’t good. It was very comical, actually. These two grown men trying to find a hospital and not knowing where to go. Eventually we did find the hospital though. And Tina and my mother drove right in behind us. Yeah. And we were probably 20 minutes ahead of where they were thinking. And they rolled in right after we did. So long story short. Slowly slow down.

Well, so we were back at the house, my mother in law and I were back at the house. Looking at each other, like what just happened, these men just ran out of the house with this bleeding baby. And they don’t even know where they’re going. And so we looked up in the phonebook. Where’s the hospital? where’s the where’s the most likely place? They’re gonna go? And we really didn’t know if that’s where they were going. But we just thought, okay, that’s kind of the only hospital that’s close. So let’s just head over there with the hope that that’s where they’re going to be. And we ended up pulling into the parking lot. I think they just at the same time really,

really close. Yeah, and embarrassing at the same time.

I think it’s such a good example, though, of we get in panic mode. We get in these states where I need to take care of something. My child is in danger. I’ve got to do something right now. And when we’re in panic mode, it’s actually not a productive place for us to be making decisions from.

It’s a horrible place to be making decisions from obviously,

yeah, because we do things like grab a baby and start driving aimlessly for a hospital

and say stay there. I know what I’m doing. Yeah, stay there when you do not know what you were doing zero.

What really happens to us when we get in these panic modes is that our body goes into a fight flight or freeze response. And then it reroutes oxygen away from our our higher brain into our extremities because it thinks that’s what it needs to do for our survival. Okay, so there are times where that’s super helpful for our body to do that. There are times like this when it was not super helpful, because your higher brain was offline, and you were not making decisions from a rational part of your brain and And you just started going on reactionary mode, which was not great.

No. But we do this often horrible. I’m and I, and not just as I mean this as it as generally as people, we do this often we get into panic mode, we get into, I have to fix this problem. And then we start being very reactionary with people in our lives and start trying to control our kids or to bark demands at our spouse and begin it comes from a place of well meaning, usually, but very misguided. Because we’re not acting from our higher self, our higher, our best selfless and our higher brain. And when it’s offline, we’re not acting from our higher self. So when your brain reroutes this oxygen to your limbs, it actually cuts off the oxygen to your higher brain, and your brain flips up, it’s kind of strange, it actually does a little flip inside your skull, which is where the term flipping your lid comes from.

Because that means you know, you’re not acting rationally, which is what happens when we don’t have access to a higher brain, it actually flips up and is cut off. And this is what happens when I think about the last time you got panicked about something or you got really fearful or angry about something and you said or did things that you regretted? Or maybe you afterwards, maybe maybe in the moment, you had no words, you just couldn’t think of anything to say. And then afterwards, after the whole situation is over, you think of all the great things that you could have said, and that you just like, why didn’t I think of that in the moment? But you can’t. This is why it’s because your higher brains offline. And it takes some work to get it back online. And Micah has been practicing some of these techniques have

old Micah was very reactionary, and very well, but the oxygen was cut off to my brain.

I can say that’s for sure. Yeah, you were acting from your emotional, yes,

my emotional, my emotional part of my brain. Yeah. When I would get upset, I would get hot, my head would get hot, I would start turning red a little bit. And then I would start gritting my teeth, and I would talk through my teeth. And it sounded very, I didn’t, I could not enunciate my words. But, you know, like, if you’re a mannequin, or you’re a dummy, you’re trying to talk to the demo. Yeah. You know, that’s, I like I like events. philic was, yeah, thanks for the demo, my mouth wasn’t moving. But my words were coming out. And they were, you know, me and, and spiteful. And, and so I have really practiced to read, acknowledge when those things are happening. My kids, when I did this, when they were young, they knew it’s time to leave the room, or stop talking about what I was talking about, or whatever it was,

soon as dad starts gritting his teeth, it’s time to scatter and

everybody knows that if you lived in our family, and so I’ve really practiced not doing those things, or recognizing the one that was starting to happen to me, and just kind of cut it off at the pass.

So how do you recognize those things now?

So I reckon that my body is talking to me, I recognize where my head is where my how I feel that my fingertips start to tingle a little bit. The top of my head starts to get, I start to recognize that my body is reacting to these things. And then my brain, I can tell my brain, hey, we need to step back. You need to take some you need to breathe, you need to take some breaths, you need to start calming yourself down before you get into that reactionary mode.

So you do a lot of talking to yourself now. You notice what’s going on in your body.

I do I don’t talk out loud to myself, but I do talk no, yes, no. Well, no, that’s not true. I do I do sometimes talk to myself. Yeah. Yeah. A lot. What does that sound like? It sounds really sad. Actually.

Like what what kind of things do you say to yourself? Um,

well, hopefully I’m by myself and nobody’s with me, but I’ll it happens. I drive a lot. So when I’m driving in the car, I do need to talk to myself. And it’s actually a conversation you need to calm down you need to quit Trying to really like run that person off the road or eating, or that person tried to run you off the road. And so you want to pull over and punch him out, you know those things that you you talk to yourself in need to bring yourself back into a reality. And because sometimes when I’m not thinking and reacting to things, it’s like I’m in a mini movie, and I’m outside of my body and things aren’t going the way I want them to. Yeah,

sometimes it feels like when we’re in those panic modes in in that really reactionary state that we’re just watching ourselves, do crazy things. And we’re like separated from our body. Yeah. So some things that you can do at that point, it’s really a very good idea to think about your breath, and how you’re breathing because we get in those super reactionary states. And we tend to hold our breath, actually. And we forget to breathe, or we breathe in and forget to let it out. So pay attention to your breathing. And Mike has been doing this too, we talked a lot about this. And slowing your breathing down, it’s like giving yourself an adult timeout. So slowing your breathing down to four in and four out through your nose has a really calming effect on your nervous system. And it helps your body to relax. So it can bring that lid, you know that higher brain back down, and you could start getting some oxygen back to it. And when you find yourself really getting doing that, like I’m watching a movie, but it’s me kind of scenario, and feeling. Get into one of your five senses. Really pay attention to what you’re hearing in the sounds that are going on around you sounds that you haven’t noticed before or what your feet feel like on the floor when they make contact, or just focusing on something in the room and noticing the detail of it. Doing those just getting into your five senses and breathing is so effective for calming down your nervous system.

And speaking of movies, yes, there’s a show. It was a skit, it was on like the Canadian Saturday Night Live way, way back in the early 80s.

Sure if it was like late 70s or early 80s. Yeah,

we were kids. It was John Candy and Steve Martin and Martin Short and a whole bunch of other comedians back in the day. And they had this skit called the frightened family. And I was we were talking about flipping your lid. And this thing popped into my brain. I have this brain that stores all this weird stuff in the back. It’s like, I use it all the time. If you need ever need me to be

Micah is your person for movie trivia, movie trivia, trivia, Music, Pop Culture any kind of that stuff. He’s one your team you want him on.

You need me to be on your team, because I can pull that stuff out. It’s really strange. But I was just we were talking about this. And this frightened family skit popped into my brain. And it’s this this family, they’re sitting about talking about this mundane things in the phone ring. And they’re like, whoa, and their hair flipped up like two pays up, you know, on the back of your head. And my I was thinking I was like, What is this? And so I had to call my dad I had to call my brother was there like, Do you guys remember this? Like, oh, yeah, we started going. And so we I remembered, we took some Google Health me, thank goodness, yeah. But we were able to find it. And it’s called the frightened family. You need to you need to check it out. That kind of perspective on everything.

Actually, there’s a link in the show notes to go and watch this video that we’re talking about on YouTube. But really, it’s like they’re freaking out about the tiniest little things. Yeah, the phone the wrong number. Because somebody called them on the phone, and it was a wrong number. And so they’re all freaked out about it.

Yeah. And it’s just stupid. But it just kind of it makes you think like, yeah, there. That’s a silly thing. But some of the things that make us react are silly things. If you stop and think about it, and try not to react what that person said, or you know what happened when you’re driving your car or you’re at work and somebody says something, and if you can just take a second and breathe and calm yourself down your reaction to whatever that is will be more appropriate.

Yeah, sometimes it feels like the things that we’re reacting to are not silly things. They feel like they’re really important things. And it feels like I have got to get through to this person, or like disaster is ahead. And there was a time 10 years ago when I was stuck in that for months, maybe even over a year. And I couldn’t see it. I could not see that I was being so reactionary and I was living in a constant state of fear, really, and reacting out of that fear. But it came out is trying to control and manipulate one of our daughters and and I did and said a lot of things that I apologize for since then. But you were mica you were outside of that, and didn’t have a flip lid. And you would tell me at times, like, hey, you need to calm down. You’re not looking at this the right way. And there was times where I didn’t appreciate that.

Well, it’s, it’s kind of rare that that happens. Usually, it’s the other way around Tina, I need to calm down or whatever it is. But there are times and that’s why I think Tina and I worked so well together as a couple is that her and I have been able to be able to recognize the other’s reactions to things and hopefully be able to be the calming effect and bring them down from whatever ledge they’re standing on. So they can be rational well, and even like going back to that time, when it it was not silly things that I was reacting to, no, not at all. They were important things.

But the way that I was reacting to them was not effective. So if I had been able to calm my nervous system down to ground myself again, so that I was, so I didn’t have just operating all the time from a flipped lid, I would have made different choices back then I would have done less damage to a very important relationship in my life, if I had been able to use these tools of grounding and breathing and calming myself, because we don’t ever make good choices from a flipped lead. That’s not ever going to be effective. Even if you think this is so important, I need to react to this and I need it does have weight, and it’s not silly, still calming yourself, grounding yourself, you’re going to make a lot better choices than you would from a flipped lid. It’s never going to be your best self showing up then. Any last words, Micah?

Don’t react to the Boxing Bell. It’ll go ding ding sometimes, and you’re gonna want to come out punching. But just recognize where you’re at and, and chill.

Yeah, and if you don’t recognize it until after the fact, give yourself a pat on the back for recognizing it afterwards. Because the more you recognize it afterwards, eventually, you’re going to be able to move into the point where you can see yourself in the middle of it. And then recognize where you are. And just remember, breathe and get into one of your five senses.

And sometimes you’ll recognize it before it even happens. And that’s where you go Superman mode. Yeah. That’s in more advanced work after you’ve been doing it for a while. Advanced. Yes. Mike is now advanced. He’s going to be star pupil.

Okay, thanks so much for being here with us today. We appreciate you listening to this podcast, and all the wonderful feedback that you give to us. So remember, ground yourself because it doesn’t help you to react from a flipped lid. And I want you to remember that your detours your family detours do not define who you have a great day and I’ll see you next week.