The look of calm.

There used to be a TV prank show called “Boiling point” and the concept was based on awarding individuals who kept their cool for a certain time period in situations which nearly everyone else would explode in. I would always think, “that’s the type of person I want to be.” You know, the one who can walk away from a fight or the one who is so calm and collected while the other person is screaming on the other end, veins popping, face blue and looking (to me) like a lunatic. That Keanu Reeves (for males) or Carrie-Anne Moss (for females) look in the Matrix movies. You know that look; it says, “I may be human or I may not be but you will never know because I show no emotion” kind of look. Yep, that’s who I want to be if ever in that kind of situation. The one in control of one’s reactions.

Life however loves providing challenges. Firstly I do not run towards fights but…if one approaches me I may not necessarily look the other way and unfortunately certain people (and I say certain because I am hopeful that it’s only a few of them) can make me reach my boiling point a lot faster than others. How fast? Well, let’s just say I compete with the speed of light at times. Okay, I am being dramatic – certain people have the ability to receive a negative reaction from me (rather than an angry one) a lot faster than others. It’s not that I yell or scream but my level of irritation is reached so quickly I immediately disengage and shut down. And nothing said is going to make me listen. I can feel the blood reach my face and all of a sudden it’s 100 degrees hotter in a few seconds and my facial expressions are cooperating all too well with my negative thoughts and…you get the picture.

Oddly enough, the people who have this magical ability are not people I dislike; if anything they are probably closest to me. Is it because I’m more vulnerable with them and let’s be honest – who enjoys that feeling of vulnerability (bleh!) or is it because I look hilarious as the blood-filled-faced-lunatic and it’s just entertaining for them so they do it on purpose? If that’s the case then yippee! Problem solved!

So, more generally now, why and how do some people have the ability to receive a certain reaction from us than others? If ABC did X, you would not react but if DEF did X, you would rush out guns blazing! How is that possible? In terms of relationships, both may be very good friends to you so how is it that one person is allowed a lot more leeway than others? And I believe the worst part is that this is not even in our control – we can only control our reaction, not the reason for the reaction thanks to that human capacity called emotions. Oh, emotions – God’s way of reminding us to have a sense of humour (place Carrie-Ann-Moss-Matrix-look-here).

So the option of staying away is non-existent; denial will not work; ignorance will not be blissful. My response? For now I’m going to stick one of those posters on my mirror that says, “Keep calm…you’re not in the Matrix.”

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