You know those moments. Someone pulls your tripwire and a wave of anger comes rushing to the surface of your mouth. You lash out in hostility with unfiltered vengeance fit for a boxing ring. You keep going until you’re exhausted, yet satisfied. You have successfully attacked your opponent, who lies shocked in silence by what you have just said. You couldn’t help it. The words came rushing out so easily. And you were so angry at your opponent, colleague, loved one, staff member or friend that censoring your message was the last thing on your mind.
Then a flash of reality streaks across your brain. What have I done??? Why did I say that??
OMG I don’t want to think about the backlash!
These moments can reek havoc in our homes, on the job, in our relationships or as we are negotiating important contracts or agreements. Unfiltered angry words are actually part of the Seven Deadly Sins, actions and behaviors that we should all resist during our journey in life.
Easier said than done you say. Well, with some practice and advance planning you can prepare for combatting these difficult situations with diplomacy and tact. Skill and confidence. Serenity and courage. The combination creating a systematic manner of managing your anger so that it does not turn into verbal rage.
Here’s a simple three step process that will help you channel your energy in the right direction the next time your blood boils and you just want to lash out with an unfiltered response.
Stop. Think. Then Speak
Words matter! Tone of voice matters! Body language matters! Used correctly, they can signal a powerful message that you understand the anger, but you won’t participate in a shouting match.
Think about this from a proactive perspective. You are going to get get angry sometime in the near future. Preparing for your reaction is how you can control the situation as best as you can.
Three simple actions can work in your favor and diffuse a difficult situation. Stop. Think, Then Speak.
It’s a strategy I have often used, and I encourage you to try it in the future. It will also help you sleep at night when the going gets tough.
-Carole Copeland Thomas
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.