Have you said something hurtful lately? Or committed to something you should have said no to? There is a super simple way to stop those interactions we live to regret—think before you speak. Sounds easy, but like anything worthwhile in life, it doesn’t come easily. But it is possible!
Healthy communication is just a result of good habits. You really do have a second to think before answering any question. Practice this with a friend or family member tonight. Have your friend ask you a simple question such as, “What is your favorite color?” Then physically snap your fingers once before answering. You’ll be amazed at the thoughts you can process during that single second delay. Of course, in real life you don’t snap out loud, but after some practice you get the same effect.
Here are some practical applications:
My colleague: “Susan, will you get me those new chapters for editing by tomorrow at noon?”
My first reaction: Are you kidding me? Have you looked at my calendar for today? Then I remember to snap!
What I say after I snap: “I may not be able to get it all done, but will send you what I have by the end of the day tomorrow.”
By taking that single second to halt my first response, I have the double bonus of not having to apologize to my colleague, and also drawing a schedule boundary that reduces my stress.
Here’s another example:
My friend: “Susan, want to have dinner on Friday night?”
My first reaction: Of course I want to have dinner with my friend. I am not considering I may have another commitment. Then I remember to snap!
What I say after I snap: “I would love to but I’m not sure of my schedule. Let me check my calendar and get back to you in a few minutes.”
So get in the habit of snapping today, and reap the benefits of healthier relationships and less stress.