Last week my husband Michael saved my ass. He happened to walk by my office while I was pounding away at my computer’s keyboard, crafting an email to someone who had just written to me with a message that pushed my buttons.
“What are you doing?” he asked in a casual tone.
“I’m upset about an email I just received and I’m writing back to set the person straight,” I replied.
“Are you sure you really want to do that?” Michael asked.
I looked up at him and for a split second considered arguing my case. Then I got up to join him in the kitchen.
My husband is a patient, levelheaded guy who’s prone to giving others the benefit of the doubt. It’s one of the many things I admire about him. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about restraint from watching how Michael responds to challenges. When his buttons get pushed, he often retreats, takes his time to consider the situation, and comes back, able to see both sides of the disagreement.
I, on the other hand, can be a bit passionate and reactive.
As I stood in the kitchen sharing the details about the email, I could feel myself settling down. Within a couple of minutes I knew Michael was right. Restraining myself was a smarter thing to do. And, by the time we finished our conversation, it was clear that my reaction had nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with me.
When we act while feeling angry or upset, there’s a good chance we’ll just escalate a negative situation. After all, the energy we bring to an encounter with another person invites similar energy.
The truth is reacting out of anger rarely serves anyone and seldom is there a sound argument for responding immediately when something sets you off. Better to step back and wait.
In this day and age when life moves so quickly, we could all benefit from a little more self-control. Or a lot. I’m learning to take a deep breath and regroup before dealing with difficult situations.
I invite you to join me .
Take Action Challenge
Stop! Before you make that call, send that email, or fight that fight, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I in my right mind?
- Do I want to be met by the energy I’m offering right now?
- Might it be helpful to talk to someone neutral first?
Then, when in doubt, take a step back and sleep on it .
Or, watch this week’s video…
Please read the description below the photo and above the video prior to watching. And be sure to watch it all the way through. You can find it here. Thanks, Laurie!