Your fingers are flying across the keyboard, and the words are practically typing themselves. You’ve been wronged, misunderstood, or shut down and you’re taking it all out on the keyboard. You need to be heard and you’re giving them a piece of your mind. It’s gettin’ real up in here and…
… you’re probably not thinking clearly about the real consequences of what you’re about to say or do.
STOP! JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE A FEELING, IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO ACT ON IT.
Reacting while emotional is a pervasive communication problem, and just about everybody has experienced the impact of it. Depending on whether you’re the sender or recipient, it can be painful, surprising (and not in a good way), embarrassing, shameful, and complicated.
Before you push “SEND” or make that call, make sure you won't have regrets later by doing the following:
1. Remember that you DON’T have to act on your emotions.
2. Take a deep breath and step away from the computer or phone/tablet.
3. SHELVE it - put it away for a while and come back to it when you’ve had a chance to process how you feel and what you want to communicate.
4. CALL SOMEONE trustworthy and safe. Ask how they’re doing and then run the scenario by them. The outside perspective will help you calm down and validate your need to be heard.
5. Revisit the initial communication with fresh eyes (and a fresh heart) and decide what you really want to say. Now that you’re in a better place, delete what you’ve written or rewrite it with your new perspective.
Now make it a habit. Practicing these steps will help you communicate logically and effectively instead of “in your feelings.” Our hope for you is that this will lead to gains in your professional and personal life.