Step up or step down?

by Rod Smith

In challenging times are you a step-up or a step-down transformer?*

Step-down transformer: 

You listen, digest, then respond. If reporting is necessary you do so honestly and without adding drama. You are as objective as possible. You try to downplay details you are unsure of or that you know will spike unnecessary anxiety. You are skilled at calming yourself and anxious people. You know anxiety is contagious so you’re careful not to be a carrier. You know caring and worrying are not the same thing. 

You are able to turn some mountains into molehills.   

Step-up transformer: 

You find it difficult to listen because you only hear what you want to hear or what fits with your already anxious state. You amplify anxiety. You pad details to make things seem worse than they are. You add drama. When upset, unsettled and you think others should be as well. People who are non-anxious under trying circumstances annoy you. You’ve  confused caring with worrying and see no difference or separation between the two. 

You turn molehills into mountains.

Relax, if you can. If you’ve identified that you’re an amplifier of anxiety you’re not stuck in this mode. 

Movement and growth is possible. 

Be aware if you’re overly proud of your non-anxiety. It may well be denial! 

Enjoy yourself – we are all works in progress. 

Besides, joy is an effective antidote for anxiety. 

*Credit to Rabbi Ed Friedman for the initial metaphor. 

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