When we let our apprehension about a difficult conversation run amok and swamp our emotions, we can inadvertently make the conversation more difficult than it might have been.
As we carried the heavy cabinet across the room, I could feel my strength running out. “I’ve got to put it down now!” I cried.
My husband started to set his end down and I thought my fingers were about to get mashed. So I shrieked.
He yelped. My fingers suffered not an iota of damage.
My husband scowled at me. “Why did you howl like that? You scared the hell out of me. I thought you were hurt!”
“I thought I was going to get hurt,” I replied with some chagrin.
We do this with conflict too. We catastrophize about what’s going to happen. Sometimes we catastrophize ourselves into an emotional state that prevents us from bringing our best to the conversation. Sometimes we catastrophize ourselves into skipping the conversation entirely.