How to stop yourself from saying something you'll later regret, writes MartyNemko
Three steps to avoiding that feeling.
Source: Barry Langdon-Lassagne, Wikimedia, CC 3.0Most of us have said things we wish we could take back. But for some people, that's a frequent occurrence. The following has helped my clients:1. Buy time.Take one deep breath. Because the brain fires millions of times a second, just those few seconds may buy you enough time to more wisely decide what (if anything) to say. Also, a deep breath lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, thus increasing your ability to decide calmly.
2. (Optional) Analyze the risk-reward of silence, confrontation, or a face-saving response.Often the issue is simple enough that analysis isn’t required—just those few seconds to slow down will often enable you to make a good decision.But sometimes, you need time to analyze the situation. For example, today, a client was kicking himself for having instantly lashed out when told he was being replaced on a board of directors. He and I took a few minutes to analyze the situation and concluded that even though on the merits, my client was probably correct that the company would be better with him on the board, the chance of reversing the decision was small, his protesting would hurt his reputation among the other board members, who were important to his
career, and the benefit of being on that board was small and even inhered liability: the time required. Not being on the board would free him to do more beneficial activities. My client’s protest was driven in part, yes, by his belief that his removal was a mistake, but more driven by the ego-hit of having been dumped. After our few minutes of analysis, he concluded that instead of instantly arguing with the person, he wished he had taken that deep breath and said he needed to get off the Zoom call for a couple of minutes. That would have resulted in his deciding to graciously accept his removal. headtopics.com
3. (Optional) Word it properly.If you decide to say something that could generate a negative reaction, it’s worth taking time to craft the wording. Of course, every situation is different, but in general, it’s wise to avoid hitting the person between the eyes and to instead make the point in a face-saving way. In this case, it might have been, “I can understand why you’d think Mary would be a better board member. After all, (insert a reason or two.) On the other hand, I like to think I bring more important benefits to the board (insert them). But what do you think?”
It’s difficult to come up with such tactful yet potentially influencing language on the fly. That’s another reason to buy some time before deciding if and how to respond, perhaps with just that one deep breath or perhaps by excusing yourself for a minute or even, “Hey, would you mind if I get back to you tomorrow?”
As with most how-to advice, it’s easier to dispense than to implement. That’s especially true here because emotion is involved. And if a person tends to go from zero to 60 in a millisecond, replacing a visceral reaction (what psychologist Daniel Kahneman might call a System 1 response) with a reflective System 2 response requires, like most new habits, time, patience, and
yourself for setbacks. It's usually two steps forward, one step back, but progress is likely. Don’t give up. This is the sort of problem that can be cured or at least ameliorated. Read more: Psychology Today »
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MartyNemko Don't be drunk. MartyNemko aptly timed for all those people tonight saying “The Undoing ending was perfect!” MartyNemko My mind doesn't always connect with the words I spit. Number of times I have said the wrong thing is staggering. Maybe it's a defect of my design. Price I paid for those stupid comments still haunt me. One comment distroys all the good work I do. Wish there is patch to fix me up
MartyNemko It’s hard for anyone to stop . I don’t feel that anyone should not regret it later . Unless it was tend to be mean or just being cruel . 🤔 The world we all live in ,A lot of unkind WORDS. MartyNemko Best Wishes from an 11 year emotional researcher with PTSD who stops this CRUD... and BOB will never be able to get to you again... because you realize... 'That was BOB'S Charge'... and you can do the technique with that.
MartyNemko If anyone is interested in the technique or my research, I invite you to learn more about it on my blog: My Ebook of my 10 years of research teaches the technique: As does my paperback- MartyNemko These are some things the technique works on... suicidal thoughts, flashbacks, panic attacks, Aggravation, Anger, Hate, Hostility, sadness, grief, guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, Fears Stress, Intimidation, Shyness, Worry, Horror, Terror, Panic and MORE.
MartyNemko That stops it from being stored, there is no conflicting emotional resistance that builds up, so there is no charge there to fire off a psychosomatic event later. A person feels better... happier... and Bob is left scratching his HEAD!!!! Victory.... MartyNemko Psychosomatic issues come from that stored, unexpressed shock and resentment over Bob's 'taunt'. That can now manifest as a PHYSICAL issue... even if it is just tension, it is still a subconscious stress. PROCESSING that 'taunt'... PROCESSING that Resentment CHARGE....
MartyNemko And we clap ourselves on the back proud that we have such good emotional control...simply because we took the time, did some analysis, and chose a different BLAND response to protect ourselves... well... that is normal to do too... but it still can create a problem... MartyNemko That means, it was SUPPRESSED, as it was not allowed expression. That was a type of emotional denial, and was an unauthentic reaction... 'Oh, Bob, things like that don't bother me.', when they totally DO... is a lie...a denial of the bother. That creates CHARGE, and stores it.
MartyNemko But it can still STORE the emotional charge, as it does not process the emotional charge... and run it out... the energy was BY PASSED, and not really looked at, just because another response was chosen... a person said something different than they first initially FELT.... MartyNemko You would still process Bob's action. You would still process your initial shock and anger... but now you would also process your 'Regret CHARGE'... and that regretful feeling and sensation would REDUCE, FADE, and STOP... it is good to be 'Mindful'...
MartyNemko We separate OUR emotions from Bob...taking them out of Bob's control... and we retain control... we are not stifling or suppressing our anger, we are PROCESSING IT. That stops it, does not STORE it. OK... Bob took us by surprise, and we blurted out something we now regret... MartyNemko We would realize their belligerence, and do the technique on...'Bob's Belligerence CHARGE'. Our emotion and reaction was shock and anger... and we are about to snap back at him... but we PROCESS our emotions... we do the technique on our 'Shock and Anger CHARGE'...see?
MartyNemko The technique works on the energy load, or charge, of the emotions. Someone said or did something... it upset us... but we PROCESS the emotion of what they just gave us. Our emotion as well as THEIR emotions... what emotion did they give you? Belligerence in their put down.... MartyNemko Good advice. How about a technique that targets the emotion BEHIND what you are about to say? OR... let's say you SAID IT... and now regret it. Which is just as important because now THAT is what is going to bother you. This is what is called, Emotional Charge at work...