The problem is I did mind and it did matter.
The more we mind the more important it is that we are careful in our response.
Anyone who has pondered a particular thorny problem probably has come to that conclusion. The difficulty is in calculating your reaction before you actually do react.
It’s also noteworthy that it’s easier to see errant reactions in others than in ourselves.
The one sure thing we have on our side when facing these difficulties is … time.
Have you had the misfortune of clicking “send” on an email you immediately regretted writing?
It’s that kind of thing.
I’ve been told that it’s ok to write that nasty gram to someone who’s thoroughly ticked us off – but the trick is deleting it – not sending it. (I go one step further by sending it to myself preventing an accidental “send” click).
Unfortunately many of these problems flare up at unexpected times and in unexpected places. That’s when a measured reaction is so necessary yet so difficult to craft. Still time is usually on our side. When time is of the essence it’s easier to forgive an improper reaction so we’re back to those situations where we can use time.
Again the trick is to control ourselves.
And speaking of tricks – try this: When facing a potentially hot exchange excuse yourself to allow some time to think of an appropriate response.
When you return respond and if possible leave immediately to avoid a second round of angst.
Of course if you really don’t mind, it won’t really matter.
Tim Sharp is the Director of Curriculum for TSOD.com – a corporate and governmental training company.