Pause. Breathe. Relax.
I’ve been thinking about a pause, a slight break, a gap.
Between what happens and what happens next.
Too often, I respond to an event with a curse word.
Better, perhaps, to pause – wait a beat or two – and then respond.
Take a second before responding.
Take a second to breathe.
Try and relax for just one or two seconds before responding.
When someone says something that I don’t like, if I pause just a second or two before responding, I am usually happier with the way that I respond.
It also gives them a chance to take it back.
When confronted with something stressful, a few deep breaths helps me return to a sense of balance.
Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.
Back when I did a lot of trial work, I would tell my clients that if they were giving sworn testimony and the court reporter was transcribing everything, they never wrote in “Witness took three seconds to answer.”
This is a good lesson for us – to wait before responding – especially with anger.
The breaths help us to relax a bit. Our first response may not be the right one.
If we respond too quickly, we won’t be able to take it back.
Pause. Breathe. Then, and only then, respond.
I think I will be a lot happier with myself if I try this approach.