Uncharacteristic behaviour may be a sign of uncharacteristic events. If someone you know reacts or responds to you in a way that seems odd to you, chances are that there is something going on behind the scenes. And, the stronger the emotion that you experience, the more likely that there really is something going, and that it is not just about you.
Of course, it could be that you have done something wholly unexpected in their eyes, so please do cover that off first. In the absence of this, it is worth considering what might be going on for the other person before you jump to react defensively.
Often, our human tendency is to feel slighted or judged and as such to react to strong emotion with equally strong emotion. And, there may be a place for that. But, there is also a place for restraint. Uncharacteristic behaviour with strong emotion could so easily be a sign of personal difficulties weighing down on the person you are dealing with. Difficulties that have pushed them over the edge.
Uncharacteristic behaviour is an invitation
If you sense something odd, take the time to check in with them if the situation allows it. We can all benefit from a little bit of compassionate understanding in these difficult times. And, don’t underestimate the effect of your positive intent and action. Not only can it prevent an avoidable conflict, but it can provide the other person with space to heal.
Being under stress and difficulty might also mean that an individual might not even be aware of their own behaviour and the strong emotions they are projecting. So, if you are in a position to hold back and to check in with them, why not do so? They will appreciate it. And, you will probably feel better about it too.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.