Someone said something to me recently that was quite hurtful. I made a decision to not react immediately. It was one of those times when I took my own advice—and pulled away from the situation for a pause to give myself time to think of a response that moved beyond knee-jerk anger or tears.
After the pause, I calmly said how I felt about what was said and done. I didn't get the positive response I had hoped for. So again, I paused before proceeding. In time, we settled things between us. But it was a reminder to me—again!—of what hard work communication can be. And a reminder of how important it is for me to pause sometimes before reacting. I think of it as being able to respond rather than simply react.
We all have choices, don't we? It doesn't always seem that way. In the course of a busy day, it's all too easy to just react and go on our way. Even when we take time to think through a response, it doesn't necessarily work out as we'd hoped. Still, for my money, it's worth it to slow down the reaction time and choose a better response.
Choices. Let's remember we do have them—and try to be more intentional about what we choose next time. I know I need to remember this. Daily!