Stimulus 2, Response 10
Let’s say there was a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being “no big deal” and 10 being “total freak out”. Essentially, ‘Stimulus 2, Response 10’ is when something happens that is in reality a 2 and your response or the response that you get from your partner is at a level 10. A complete over-reaction. Totally out of proportion to the thing that happened. The situation becomes totally unproductive and there is no hope for a Kindred conversation.
Why does this happen?
Stimulus 2, response 10 is a bit like post traumatic stress. When something brings up feelings for us that have been there in the past, those feelings are amplified through cellular memory, creating a much greater response to the stimuli than is appropriate.
So how do you keep yourself from blowing things out of proportion?
1. Address things when they are small, with the appropriate level response. When the stimulus is 2, respond at 2 and respond quickly. Don’t let a situation linger until it becomes something bigger than it should be.
2. If you sense that you’re blowing something out of proportion. Stop. Just stop and take a moment to dial your reaction back to an appropriate level. This will start to come more naturally over time, but the first step is just being aware of your reaction and mindful of whether or not you’re at the appropriate level.
3. And if you’re on the receiving end, remember that 99% of the time, it’s not about you. When your partner is upset, quiet, stressed, or angry, (or conversely, when your partner is happy or excited), it’s really not about you. Sorry. But it’s not. So try to find out what is REALLY going on so that it doesn’t escalate. Or don’t. Because it’s not about you anyway.