The third effect of stress according to Dr. Jennings alerted us to “Misuse of Penalties” (MOP).
It’s a logical outcome. With our perception distorted, we read events wrong (HEA) and we filter information wrong (HTF). Then we react. MOP warns us against overreacting.
Our reactions can be swift. The sanctions we use don’t fit the situation. We use harsh words when listening would be better. We impose penalties where good teaching and correction would improve.
Our capacity to forgive, to hold our tongue, to resist blame, to initiate problem-solving, to show grace will be limited. Our MOP is at hand.
Fighting the effects of stress is a team effort, but it starts with you acknowledging to yourself: “I am feeling stressed. I can’t do it alone. I’ll need some help here.”
Slow down. Double check facts and impressions. Seek better understanding. Choose grace versus sanction.
We can work through the matters that stress us together. It’s what sets us apart.