A recent interaction in my life got me thinking about the finer points of interacting and how often I advise people to come from a calm, reasonable place whenever possible. Mostly good advice, but lately I’m finding it requires deeper examination.

Should we always wait until we’re out of the fraught place and in the Zen place to respond or react to someone? Doesn’t that set up a false dynamic? If you’re always your best self with someone, is that necessarily a good thing? Are you giving that person the sense that you always have it together? That your responses to tension are always well thought-out and meaningful? Isn’t that a ridiculous standard to set for yourself? Are they getting to know you or some holy version of you? What happens when you falter? Aren’t they taken aback because it seems like it’s coming out of nowhere?

I decided not to be a hero recently and just surrender to what I was feeling in the moment. Not to wait until my ‘better self’ arrived at a conclusion, but going with what my real self felt in the moment. No high drama. No acting out. But no Zen bullshit either.

I’ll get there at some point. In the meantime, no need to act as if.