“We boil at different degrees.”
~Benjamin Franklin

The other day I was ready to kill someone. Well maybe not someone, but something. I had had it up to here, had reached my limit, and had gone past my boiling point. I was tired of a situation and of the person who, I felt, had put me in the situation. I was fit to be tied.

What got me even more was that the person my ire was directed towards seemed to think that nothing had gone wrong. They acted as if it was just another day, and as if what they’d done was fine.

Once I could cool down, it got me thinking. And thinking some more. Thinking about how differently we all view things, even the same things. Wondering how something that seemed so important to me, and that upset me so much, could seem like nothing to someone else.

We all have different viewpoints, and different reactions. This is what causes so much of the dissension in our work (and home) relationships. We all have different boiling points. Some people can handle way more than others, and some people seem to boil at what would feel like a simmer to me.

Surely you’ve noticed this as well. Haven’t you noticed that that which sets your blood boiling, might not even phase your colleague? And haven’t you wondered why someone else got so upset about something, when the something seemed like nothing to you?

We all notice different things and get upset at different things, to different degrees. If we can remember this, then we can cool down when we’re the one past our boiling point, and we can be understanding when the person we’re calmly trying to talk with has gone off the deep-end of anger.

Because if we can remember that we all boil at different degrees, and we can allow for and work with these differences, maybe we can find ways to keep most things at a pleasant simmer (or a refreshing cool splash on the face). And maybe we can find ways to be more effective together.

What causes you to boil over?
Please leave a comment.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For support in managing your boiling point, contact Lisa at lkohn@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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