How many times have you heard or said this taunt? I know I say things along these lines. I’ve done it for as long as I remember…Eat your vegetables! Make me! Clean your room! Make me! Take out the trash! Make me!
Almost every time, the words are said out of anger or frustration. It’s like reaching the point of no return and digging in your heels. Challenging someone to force you to do something you have no desire to do. I dare you…make me do this.
Getting boxed into a corner brings out this phrase. Not being able to process a situation brings this out. Not comprehending how far along that path someone has already traveled also leads to this type of confrontation. At some point, communication just breaks down and, well, make me.
I honestly can’t think of a single person I’m around on a regular basis that hasn’t gone into make me mode at some point. I believe that most of these confrontations resolve with some space and maybe a time out. But what if they don’t? What happens when someone decides to dig in and truly make you do something?
You have a choice. Recognize the confrontation for what it is. Understand that the other person has reached their point of no return. Step back. Breathe. It’s not easy to do in the heat of the moment. I get that. Sometimes my sense of “justice” demands that I dig in as well. When that happens, let’s just say that there’s smoke behind me from the bridge I just burned.
Sometimes, you do have to be the person who gives a little. Sometimes, you are the person demanding a little. Either way, you’re much more effective if you step back from “make me.” That’s a challenge. It riles people up. And resolving things is much more difficult when people are riled up.
Your challenge: Breathe. Pause. Regroup. Be respectful. Evaluate your options. Keep in mind that what you feel is right may be the other person’s point of no return. Work to improve communication so you don’t run into “make me” moments. Trust me, it’s much less stressful to pause than it is to get caught up in the heat of the moment .