Backfires are not always preventable

A backfire is a mistimed explosion in the cylinder or in the exhaust of an internal combustion engine like a car or truck or any another engine.

A backfire is also synonymous with something that failed in an adverse way. You were trying to help and make things better and you were trying to create a positive experience or relationship but your efforts failed. They backfired on you.

Backfires are upsetting because you acted in good faith. You did everything right and sometimes you even went out-ofyour way to secure a positive outcome and unfortunately, you failed to achieve that goal. When something backfires on you, you are usually genuinely surprised and caught off guard. You probably never imagined that it could happen. It is particularly upsetting because your intentions were so honorable.

When a situation backfires you might feel defensive and you might feel like you have to apologize and try to explain. You might feel angry with the other person for not being thrilled with you and your actions. There is a tendency, by both parties to over react sometimes.

When things go wrong as they sometimes may, Ask, “What can I do to save the day?”

Ask yourself how you can regain your balance emotionally and put this in the proper perspective. Be careful so that an occasional backfire doesn’t prevent you from trying again. Do not lose faith or give up or change your beliefs and your personality. Even if something does backfire, it was still worth the effort you made. It could just as easily have gone the other way and you would be congratulating yourself and celebrating your success.

When something does backfire, keep in mind the old expression, “No good deed goes unpunished.” And have a little chuckle about it. Things do not usually backfire on you if you have good intentions and if you are careful about what you say, how you say it and how you go about doing something.

Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305- 788-4864,

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