The Overwhelm Loop

    What struck me when I was asked to address a meeting at a client company today was how many were stuck in the “overwhelm loop.” It was a perfect opportunity to explore some aspects of emotional intelligence.

I asked the group to describe what being overwhelmed meant for them and received great answers, such as “I shut down, stop caring.”  “It’s when too many people are asking for too much of me, and I disappoint someone.” They described how these states often lead to paralysis, anger,  and frustration. …Not exactly great emotional states for effective leadership, problem solving, or for dealing effectively with customers.
I asked how does it happen that some people are constantly overwhelmed and others rarely feel this way? Could it possibly be that some people get some “juice” or value out of being in overwhelm mode? Pretend for a minute that on some level being overwhelmed does provide the owner a benefit.  What could possibly be of value about being in an overwhelmed state of mind?
A lot, as it turns out.

     It might just be a paradoxical way to control what feels like the uncontrollable in life. There’s a lot to think about overwhelm-ment, where it comes from, how it expresses itself for one person differently than it does for another, and how to get out of it, if you want to do so. It’s a complex subject which is one of the things that the group came to understand better as a result of the meeting. By the way, the reason I was tuned into it is because I, myself, have often found myself a master of it.
I’d love to know your thoughts……