Looking for the “Sweet Spot” when relationships become anxious? Aim to be “Close Enough to Influence” and “Distant Enough to Lead”

  • Fact: In the routine of both family and work life, moderate anxiety-producing situations arise all the time. And, too easily, those minor stresses can erupt into a major crisis. Whether the stressful situation is small or full-blown, we all have a default tendency when managing anxiety. We naturally tend to become overly involved, or we distance ourselves from the drama produced by the crisis. Both responses are understandable; neither response is optimal.
  • Action: Reflect on two or three stressful situations you have experienced in recent times. What was your default tendency in the midst of these situations? Did you become overly involved as a way to manage your anxiety, or did you withdraw (physically or emotionally) from the situation? And did your behavior serve to lower anxiety or increase it? Write a note to yourself about how to manage your anxiety in better ways by being “Close Enough to Influence” and “Distant Enough to Lead” in such situations.