Have you ever wanted to tell someone to “get over it?”

How we handle our emotions determines much of the success we have in our lives and careers. Emotions are a good and necessary thing. But does there come a point when they stay in the driver’s seat a little too long?

A couple of years ago, our church leadership was trying to decide which site to attend for the annual Global Leadership Summit. Of our two choices, one was significantly closer and more convenient. The problem was I had a history with that site and had we attended there, I would have been anxious, nervous, and on edge the entire time. An elder asked me why I’d feel that way and I explained the situation and how I didn’t feel comfortable at that church.

Do you know what his sincere advice was?  “Just get over it.” “Getting over it” isn’t the practice of ignoring emotions or sweeping them under the rug and moving on. It’s always dangerous when someone suggests that another ignore their emotions and put their feelings to the side.

I want every reader to know I am not suggesting that. What I will say is that we often let our emotions win the day far too often when that spot rightfully belongs to maturity.

“Getting over it” is the practice of naming something for exactly what it is and putting it definitively behind you.

The thing you’re getting over is a block or an obstacle that if you don’t deal with it, you can’t mature. I was called into a meeting recently. An email I had sent out was interpreted in the wrong way and the recipients read into some things that frankly weren’t there. They took the situation as one of great conflict and tension when there wasn’t any there to begin with.

In this meeting, I got quite the dressing down. It was a tongue lashing. It would be inappropriate to share the details of the meeting, however, there are conflicts where you fight back, die on the hill, and defend yourself to the end. And then there are conflicts where you just have to take it. This was one of those conflicts. After apologies were made and forgiveness was granted, I spent the rest of the day and some of the next licking my wounds. In my prayer time, I was led to the decision to treat this as a growing moment, to pursue maturity (which is almost always inconvenient), and to work toward “get over it.”

Here are some times when your best course of action may be to “get over it”:

1. When the Only One Emotionally Impacted is You

In my story above about the GLS, the reasons for my anxiety were entirely on my side. There wasn’t any unresolved conflicts are relationships marked by tension. It was just my stuff. Had I shown up, no one else would have felt anxious besides me. You need to get over it if the only person left to get healing is you. One shouldn’t feel pressure to rush through their emotions. They take time to be processed. But if the only person who continues to be emotionally impacted is you, then it may be time for you to start getting over it.

2. When What You Have is a First World Problem

This can be problematic for some generations more than others. Consider your life and consider your blessings. If only your comfort has been inconvenienced, get over it. To think that you deserve an unbroken boulevard of green lights is ridiculous. And the best tool to use for you to get over it is perspective. Get some.

3. When the Biggest Thing Hurt is Your Pride

Emotional hurt comes out of conflict and misunderstandings. Sometimes we hurt feelings or our feelings are hurt. Other times we can feel like the victims of circumstance or good intentions. Reflect on why you’re hurting. If it’s because someone doesn’t think you’re as awesome as you do, work toward getting over it. If it’s because no one is spotting how gifted and talented you are, try to get over it.

4. When the Problem is Small

In my email story above, afterwards I wanted everyone in the world to know how unfair I had been treated and talked to—even though I had genuinely received forgiveness and the issue was resolved before we all left the room. After a couple of days I realized that conversation was just a small blip in the grand scheme of things. It just wasn’t that big of a deal. What I have tried to do is take the lessons learned and the emotional maturity gained from this experience and get myself ready for the inevitable next one.

5. When Your Closest Friends Aren’t Sympathetic

We love venting to our friends. We let them vent to us. And we all let each other be the absolute heroes or absolute victims when we have a story from the trenches. But our closest friends are also the ones who should be the most real with us. When your friends don’t really care about your story this time, maybe you need to get over it. If your friends challenge you or tell you you’re being childish, they’re probably right. Trust your friends. Get over it.

I have heard it said that emotions are fantastic advisers, but terrible decision makers.

If you’re sensing tension, have some latent anxiety, or your heart feels like a clenched fist, reflect on your recent conflicts and discern what you may need to get over—in an emotionally mature way.