I used to think there were two categories of reactions people have when they come unglued: exploding and stuffing.
Exploding when we feel unglued means pushing emotions outward. A rush of feelings bubble up and out of our mouth with harsh words, condemning attitudes, and demonstrative gestures like slamming doors or banging our hand down on a table. The exploding makes us feel good in the moment because it gets the yuck out of us but when we realize all we’ve spewed on others and the hurt we’ve caused, the regret falls heavy.
We’ll either deflect that regret by blaming someone else for our actions or we’ll ingest that regret by shaming ourselves.
Stuffing when we feel unglued means pushing emotions inward. A rush of feelings are stopped from going out by being shoved in. We swallow hard our hurt feelings but not in an effort to process and release. Rather we wallow in the hurt. Like an oyster deals with the irritation of a grain of sand we coat the issue with more and more layers of hurt until a rock of sorts is formed.
But this rock is no pearl. It’s a rock with which we’ll eventually build a barrier or use it to hurl hurt in eventual retaliation.
In processing these definitions, studying the thousands of responses to posts I’ve written on raw emotions on my blog, and honestly assessing myself, I determined there are actually 4 categories of unglued reactions:
• Exploders who blame others
• Exploders who shame themselves
• Stuffers who build barriers
• Stuffers who collect retaliation rocks
Once I identified these four categories I wanted to know which one I fell into. You might even be wondering… “what type of reactor am I?” Well, we’ve created an Unglued assessment that you can take to find out!
Remember: these aren’t labels we carry around with us. These are things we’re identifying about ourselves so we can bring our raw emotions and unglued reactions under the healing revelations of Jesus.
Be sure to leave a comment below telling me what your result was. You’ll be entered to win a copy of the Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress!