Learning to pause and then taking a step back when we are upset is one of the most valuable resources we have. I recently read an article called How to avoid sending a snarky email and its basically boiled down to pause.
Pausing applies to both delayed communications (emails) and in-person communications. When emotions are close to the surface we are quick to act. This is what happens with road rage. Someone gets cut off in traffic and instead of pausing and taking a breath they react. They get out of the car and go bang on the other person's window. This might seem extreme but it happens.
A snarky email sent off in hast or a road rage incident are just examples of when a pause might help us to avoid more problems. The pause allows us to check out our emotions and what we are feeling and what we are making it mean.
Broadly speaking we get upset when we feel threatened and our reaction is a way to defend and protect ourselves. But when we are reactive and come at the situation from a defensive position we are effectively shutting down communication. If you respond with anger and upset chances are the other person will too. If instead we pause and then get curious and ask questions chances are we will have a different outcome.
There is no guarantee of a positive outcome. Maybe the other person hasn't learned to pause and will continue to escalate the situation. But by employing the pause and then getting curious and asking questions there is a better chance of positive outcome and there is less chance of you finding yourself in situation where you are dealing with the unintended consequence of a hasty reaction.
I love information. I love to read articles and to learn more. On this blog I will be sharing articles I find insightful and helpful with regards to stress, anxiety, loneliness and other related feelings. Occasionally I might even right an article myself. I hope you find these posts helpful.