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We can all get into a heated mess sometimes, but hopefully not as drastic as heat stroke. Sometimes it’s just miscommunication, but occasionally we create these hotspots for ourselves by being a hothead and saying or doing inappropriate, self-centered things.

Whatever the cause, it generally doesn’t take too long for us to realize we’re in a mess. But then what? We may get angry and storm off, or throw up a wall of denial and refuse to acknowledge our part in it, or retreat into the silent treatment toward those around us. But let’s think about it. We’ve just landed in a situation that can result in a change in the relationship – positive or negative. Will we use it to strengthen or to damage our relationships?

Here are a few steps to help turn a hot mess into positive growth:

  • Declare a truce and allow a brief cool-down period.
  • Listen carefully to the people involved in the situation.
  • Determine what you did or said that contributed to the mess.
  • If you’ve hurt others by your words or actions, acknowledge it. Humble, heartfelt apologies can work wonders!
  • Together, determine how you can do this better next time.

Simmering in a hot-mess is never comfortable. Learn and grow from your hotspots and you’ll build character with admirable qualities. These will help you avoid the heat by enabling you to cool things off before they turn into a too-hot-to-handle mess.

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