Fight or Flight?

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net Image by hin255
Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net Image by hin255

Maybe it’s because I am the stereotypical hot-headed Italian, as are my parents, but when it comes to the choice of fight or flight I land in the fight category with both feet solid on the ground. I never miss an opportunity for confrontation. I don’t shy away from it and honestly, don’t completely understand my counterparts who run in the other direction when confrontation is on the horizon. Why run? Let your voice be heard. Loudly!

Maturity, (not much) my husband, and yoga have taught me it’s better to at least stop and take a breath before jumping in with both fists, or loud mouth, flailing. Sometimes it’s a day’s worth of breathing before I can choose the non-fighting approach.

The hardest place for me to take a breather in the face of the fight is where my children are concerned. Last year Daughter, in the 5th grade at the time, came out of school at the end of the day hysterical crying. Before she even got to me I wanted to know who I should hurt first. Through the tears I managed to find out what happened. I told her to stay in the car and I’d get to the bottom of it. With only one thought on my mind, I marched through the school and wasn’t going to stop until the teacher did some explaining. Thankfully, the Universe interfered. Someone else was already in the classroom talking to the teacher and when I saw this woman I realized, in the nick of time, I couldn’t go barreling in there the way I was. I stopped, took a breath, and at least sounded somewhat like an intelligent person when I spoke. Had I continued on my quest in total fight mode I’m sure I would’ve under minded my credibility.

Today I’m faced with a similar situation and I have to tell you, I’m chewing on the inside of my cheek trying not to speak up yet. My instincts are to fight, but that might not be the best choice for all who are concerned. So, I’m breathing in the mean time.

The best place for conflict? On the page. I try very hard to allow my characters to say and do the very things we shouldn’t so they will get into some trouble and make my stories more interesting to read.

What do you choose? Fight? Flight?

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4 thoughts on “Fight or Flight?

  1. Fight — always the fight, rarely the flight! (you know, being part Italian and growing up with four brothers may have something to do with this mentality!)

    1. Having four brothers would definitely have something to do with it. So, what’s my excuse? I have one sister and she hates to fight. She probably figured, why bother? Stacey can fight enough for the both us.

  2. I’ve been blessed to learn the difference between ‘react’ and ‘respond’. The latter can involve a fight, but it doesn’t have to be one that’s adrenaline vs. thought driven. I tend to take that step back and think things through. Most of the time, that would have been most helpful to me anyway, as I rarely can think of ANYTHING to say when I’m in the initial moments of whatever has thrown me into that mode.

    Having said that, I remember an incident years ago when the younger of my brothers worked at a gas station. (He as about 15 at the time.) The owner was Italian and my parents had frequented the place since we were kids. My brother got held up and wound up giving all the cash he should have deposited into the locked box.

    Long story short, I remember going off on the owner in Italian when he made some comment about it to my mom. I don’t remember one word of the exchange, but I do remember rattling off in perfect Italian. Guess adrenaline kicked in and loosed the grammar monster inside, lol.

    Good luck with your decision, dear. I’m sure you will choose well.

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