These days we have been hearing a lot about volcanos– in far away places like Italy, Iceland and Hawaii scientists are carefully monitoring lava flows, but what about doing the same a little bit closer to home?  All of us have the ability to blow– whether at work or home, and I believe there really is only one reason, which is quite simple: someone has violated our sense of fairness.

Usually it is those closest to us that really push our buttons, and that is because we expect much more of our loved ones than we do from complete strangers or casual acquaintances.  When it seems that those we care about are not being considerate of us, we often feel betrayed, and that betrayal often leads to outrage.  So how do you stop yourself from blowing up?  Well, try to remember this fact: if a volcano blows, everyone winds up covered in ash.

Whenever we feel our sense of fairness is being violated, we need to speak up and not just suffer in silence.  We need to air our grievances, explain our feelings, and then we have to wait and see– how does that other person react?  Do they get defensive or aggressive?  Do they shut down or shut you out?  Are they dismissive of your concerns?  If so, just recognize that NONE of that is constructive, but do not continue to engage, instead just gracefully walk away.

Those with healthy relationship skills will listen to their partners’ concerns– they are open to having difficult conversations and coming up with some possible solutions.  Conflict is inevitable in life, but for a relationship to survive (and hopefully thrive), you have to feel like you are working together to resolve these issues.

If you feel like a volcano that is getting ready to blow, don’t dismiss your feelings.  Instead, spend some time asking yourself why you feel this way.  Figuring out the why is the key.  Then you can start to explore options for an appropriate solution– and here is where you need to be open to all possibilities because the less tied you are to a particular outcome, the more likely you are to find the right solution.

So, let’s leave real explosions to real volcanoes, and admire them from a far.  I think we can all agree that the last thing any of us want is to have all our loved ones covered in ash.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.