The Freak Out!

Have you ever been so unbelievably irritated at someone but, instead of having it out with that particular individual, you instead let your frustration build and eventually freak out in front of someone in your family or someone else you feel close to? I know I’ve been there!

The question is… why do we do this? Well, believe it or not, there are some reasons!

The reason for the freak out in the presence of the people we have come to trust is because we subconsciously know we will still be accepted afterwards. Us humans like to protect ourselves and avoiding the breakdown with the one or the thing we are actually ticked off at is really us relying on a safety net. We cannot be sure if we will still be accepted afterwards when we freak out on someone we barely know… even if that person has done everything in their power to piss us off!

Of course, it would be best to not ever push those we have come to trust away from us, but it really is great knowing these people will still have our backs at the end of the day.

angry youth

The Freak Out in School

With all of this stated, have you ever wondered why that one kid in school keeps having a major fit in your presence? Every teacher or individual that works in a school for any length of time has likely experienced this with at least one kid in their lifetime! It’s that one kid that we find ourselves saying, “OMG! What is WITH that kid?!?” as s/he is throwing either fierce words, punches and/or furniture.

Well, because kids don’t get to choose their life circumstances, there could be many things going on. The fact the kid is choosing to vent those pent-up frustrations in your presence rather than in the presence of others, though? As long as you are not instigating the anger in this child, in which case the child will most likely be directly attacking YOU, take it as a compliment. Think about it… this child is feeling safe enough with you to have their freak out in your presence as opposed to anyone else!

Years ago, when I was teaching high school, there was a young lady that regularly stormed out of my classroom. Most of these occasions consisted of some “F” bombs flying, followed by door slamming. I just didn’t get it, but I decided I was not going to take this personally and each day I continued to make a point of welcoming her into my classroom. I taught this individual in both her grade 9 and 10 years, after which I moved to another school.

It’s funny… there are some students that teachers just know they have a positive impact on. However, I honestly never really knew where I stood with this girl. There were a few students I made a point of finding out whether or not they graduated and sent cards to those that accomplished this great feat! I was happy to find out she would be one of those students I would need a card for.

Well, guess what!?! Three years later, I got the most awesome email from this young lady. Here is a snippet from her message: I honestly don’t think I would have graduated if it weren’t for you pushing me in the right direction even though I tried to push it away and rebel it… I truly am thankful though that you kept pushing me and didn’t give up on me like some of my teachers seemed to do. I received this message 9 years ago now and still love to look back at it, especially on those occasions where I feel like I’m getting nowhere with a student or two.

In most cases, we never know the full impact we have on the students we teach. However, I could not be more thankful that the student mentioned above chose MY PRESENCE to rebel in front of! That was a definite win… wouldn’t you agree? 😀

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