When I became certified to facilitate SOCIAL STYLE, I had to do quite a bit of studying of the material and the research. Two of the things I had to study, understand and present were the SOCIAL STYLE® & Versatility Facilitator Handbook and the SOCIAL STYLE® & Versatility Technical Report. For how much I love learning, these materials went into depths of details I didn't know existed. Needless to say, I learned a lot. One of the concepts the facilitator handbook talks about is "Bucket Dumping". It's a simple yet important concept to understand as it relates to our self-management and relationships with others.
Each of us has a "stress bucket"; a place within us where we assume the burden and store all the stress and tension we receive from the world around us. Some of us have deep buckets and some of us have shallow buckets, illustrated by our adaptability, resiliency and tolerance. The really, really, really, really, really important question is . . .
What do we do when our bucket gets full?
Bucket dumping is our way of coping with, managing and relieving ourselves of the stress and tension that is about to overflow our buckets.
How do you dump your bucket?
50 years of research says that depending on our SOCIAL STYLE, we have four different patterns of behavior we may resort to when dumping our stress bucket.
DRIVING STYLE - Some people become very impatient and controlling, refusing to consider others' thoughts and feelings. They become "my way or the highway" and their aggressive and impatient actions will speak louder than their words.
If this is you, when stressed, you may make others feel "run-over", not listened or cared for.
EXPRESSIVE STYLE - Some people take things very personally and become confrontational with their words and actions. With strong and likely uncontrolled emotions, they attempt to reduce their tension by confronting people or situations. Their words and dramatic behavior may overwhelm and distract from the points they are trying to make.
If this is you, when stressed, you may make others feel overwhelmed, personally attacked and disrespected.
AMIABLE STYLE - Some people will act like everything is OK when it's not. They may assume a victim mentality and seek out others who feel the same way for validation and support. They avoid conflict like the plague and you may never know there is a problem until it's too late.
If this is you, when stressed, you may make others feel confused and question whether they can trust what you say.
ANALYTICAL STYLE - Some people will disengage and become passive aggressive. They see things in black and white and they have little time for things that don't align with their view. They can easily become quiet and cold.
If this is you, when stressed, you may make others feel stupid and inadequate.
When I ask the question "How do you dump your bucket?", what I'm really asking is . . .
"How do you cope with, manage and relieve your stress when your bucket gets full?"
Do you become controlling and aggressive and take it out on the people around you?
Do you become emotional and dramatic and attack others?
Do you assume the worst and resort to unproductive and gossipy behavior that undermines your relationships?
Do you act like your way is the only "right way" and become arrogant and judgmental toward others.
When our bucket is overflowing we have a choice. We can empty it by throwing it in someone's face... our partner . . . children . . . friends . . . co-workers . . . OR we can be aware that it's filling up, understanding it's our problem and commit to productive methods to dump it.
What are five ways you can dump your stress bucket that have nothing to do with negatively impacting other people?
Here are five ways I try to dump my bucket.
I learn. I read . . . I listen to books . . . I watch videos . . . I try to look for the truth in everything so I'm making decisions based on facts, not the crazy emotions I have in my head.
I exercise. I run... I do the elliptical... I lift weights... I swim... I do something to get myself out of my own head to focus on other things and burn off some energy.
I focus on positive messaging. I read quotes... listen to music I like... listen to motivational books... I watch motivational YouTube videos. The messaging we allow to influence us is critical.
I talk to people I trust and know I can be vulnerable with. I have my people that I can talk to and confide in that I know will lovingly give it to me straight.
I think about things I'm proud of. Many times my children are the reminder that I need to quite my mind and chill. Thinking about the things we are proud of can easily compete with and over power the stress and tension consuming us.
Dumping Your Political Bucket
I haven't paid more attention to any other presidential campaign and election in my lifetime like the one we have just experienced. In that same breath, I haven't experienced more stress during any other election than this one. I can say with certainty that in my effort to be informed and sort though all the crap that my quality of life decreased, my anxiety increased and I have never felt the burden I ever felt voting like I did this week. It has been stressful for everyone. I'm sure everyone's political bucket has been overflowing.
I said in a Facebook post yesterday, I have never been more convinced that two root causes of our mental health issues are the mainstream media and social media. Trump and Hillary don't scare me half as much as how I've seen people react to things they don't like and treat others over the past 18 months; and this is all sides of the political spectrum.
Stop dumping your bucket in the face of everyone and everything around you. Own your stress and manage it. If you don't like the way things are and you want to see things different; learn how to lead people toward your cause and stop criticizing and alienating people who don't agree with you. It might give you temporary stress relief, but it is not serving your ultimate goal.
Today's survival of the fittest is emotional intelligence. How we think about, act upon and respond to the world around us will make or break our quality of life, relationship with others and ability to achieve our goals. I refuse to allow the media and Facebook or Twitter to dictate my quality of life, how I love my family and treat you.
We are all in this together.
We all need to check ourselves.
We all need to manage our stress and dump our buckets productively.