“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” How many of us can remember our mothers saying this to us. Of course she was right!
How many times have you said something that you wish you could take back. But, we all know that something said can never be taken back. There is no undo button. There is no start over button and even if we do apologise, the spoken word has such power, that it can never be forgotten.
Understanding the power of the pause and putting it into practice in our daily lives, allows us to take a deep breath and allocate a moment of contemplation before we open our mouths to speak. And that can only be a good thing.
If you have difficulty with controlling what comes out of your mouth, then you’re probably the first one that needs to be focusing on practicing the pause. All you need to do is consciously stop yourself from talking. It’s a lot about listening to someone to hear what they have to say rather than listening to them to answer them. And if you find it problematic to control your emotions, taking a long inbreath will give you just the moment you need. Hold your breathe. Bring into your mind, consciously, what the other person is saying, and then formulate your answer.
The question to ask yourself is this : Is this person going to benefit from the answer I’m about to give them? Are they going to walk away feeling better about themselves? Is the way I’m about to answer them come across as judgmental and reprimanding? Do our sound like I’m being condescending? How will they react to my answer?
All of these things are important to consider, because it is important that we take other people’s feelings into consideration. There is always a way to get your point across without offending or being maligning.
So Practise the Pause …
whenever you’re about to react harshly
to avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret
Make the pause your habitual behaviour for everyday interactions. When faced with more challenging situations that you know require more consideration to achieve a better outcome, make the pause much more than just an intake of breath. It’s better to ask someone if you can have a few days to think about what has just been said. If you can have some time to consider and some time to make up your mind about how you actually feel about what has just been said. We know that we have knee-jerk reactions to things and there are some people who know exactly how to press our buttons, so to speak.
Practising the pause and using the power of the pause, gives you time to not go there. It gives you the opportunity to realise that your knee-jerk reaction isn’t going to get you what you want and that it more than likely will result in a negative reaction from the other person too.
In practicing the pause and realizing it’s power, you make yourself a better person. You make it so much easier for people to get along with you which in turn, you know for sure, will have the direct same effect on you and you will find yourself in less and less confrontational situations and happiness, calm and peace will be the result.