Cinergy Coaching by Cinnie Noble
I was unable to find the derivation of the expression flip your lid, but I have heard it used to describe an excessively angry reaction. In recent years I have heard the term apoplectic used when referring to extreme rage and for me, the meaning of these two expressions are similar. The visual of flip your lid however, conjures up an interesting image of the top of the head blowing open – presumably with fury propelling it. Perhaps, the expression symbolizes the emotional part of the brain (limbic area) becoming over-activated and overflowing with anger, pushing out the front of the brain (pre-frontal cortex) which loses its capacity to think!
When it comes to interpersonal conflict I hear people in my conflict management coaching practice use the expression flip my lid when describing their adverse reaction to what someone said or did. Or, some use it when describing their observation of someone else whose response to an interaction is severe and noticeably so.
For this week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog, I invite readers to consider a dispute in which you have or could have used this expression about someone’s reaction to you about something you said or did. Also, please consider a scenario in which an observer could have used that expression to describe your reaction.
When you observed the other person in a conflict with you flip her or his lid, how do you describe what this phrase means in that context?
What did the other person look like? What did she or he sound like (if you did not answer these questions in your first answer)?
What came out from under the lid that surprised you? What upset you most?
How do you describe the impact on you?
Once the lid was off, what did you do or try to do to bring it back down, if anything? If you did not try to bring the lid back down, what happened?
What did it take for the person’s lid to settle back down?
If you have flipped your lid in reaction to what someone said or did, what was that? How do you think you looked? What did you sound like? How did it feel?
What came out once your lid was open that surprised you? What surprised the other person? What other impact did you observe on the other person?
What did it take for your lid to settle back?
If you do not want to flip your lid in the future, what may you do instead? If you do not want the other person’s lid to flip in a conflict with her or him, what sorts of things may you do to prevent that?
What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?
Christopher Honeyman, Managing Partner, CONVENOR Conflict Management, based in Madison, WI and Washington, DC. He has led a fifteen-year series of large-scale conflict management research and development projects funded by...By Gini Nelson