Thinking Before Reacting

It’s been awhile since I have written anything non-sports or  food related. That doesn’t mean other topics aren’t on my mind, it simply means I am trying to find the words to get my point across.

That being said, I will be posting about March Madness Sweet Sixteen and MLB Opening Day later on….I’m just waiting for the results.

Anyway, a topic that has been on my mind recently is how often we (myself  included) react without thinking.  Perfect example, someone makes a comment or does something we don’t like.  Show of hands, how many of us react right away? ::raises hand:: I’m the first to admit….I am Italian, I am type A with OCD tendencies and don’t  always have a filter. While this isn’t always a bad thing, (Hey, I  didn’t earn the nickname Sophia Petrillo for nothing!) I  do admit it sometimes causes problems.

I  recently have been thinking about a situation where a good friend and I had a disagreement.   While the details will remain private, it did cause a lot of problems and put a strain on our relationship. This is something that hurts because this person is very special to me and it hurts to not have them in my life the way I  once did.

While I  try not to dwell on the issue,  I  do often think that things would have been different had I  not reacted right away or if I had taken the time to calm down and think before I  spoke.

This is something that I am learning to do slowly but surely. Here  are some tip I  have been trying to incorporate so I avoid these issues in the future:

1. Take a deep breath, count to ten and think about what they said.  Was it a personal attack? Unsolicited advice?  Depending on what was said, it might not even need a reaction at all. I’ve learned that if I get unsolicited advice, the best thing to do is to ignore it or tell the person that while I  appreciate their point of view,  it isn’t what I need to hear right now. (Perfect example: people often tell me to change my look to make myself more attractive to the opposite sex. I usually get pissed at this because in m book that is code for telling someone they are ugly. Now instead of getting mad or reacting, I simply sa thank you, but I am happy with my look.)

2.  Walk away. This might not always be possible, but sometimes it is for the best.  If it is a phone call or in person, simply find an excuse to leave.  Say you have to go,  head to the restroom, excuse yourself in some other way…..this will allow you to calm down and take a deep breath without reacting and it gets you away from the person.

3. Put down the phone/sign off social media!   This is where the worst reactions tend to happen. Texts and social media posts can be misinterpreted, misread and comprehended wrong. This leads to fighting, misunderstandings and a whole laundry list of problems. One particular fight I had happened due to a miscommunication via text and led to a huge mess.  My solution now? I put the phone down, sign off my pages, walk away and take a few minutes to think before I  respond. If anything, I  ask what they meant and we can talk it out.  Sadly, these forms of communication,  while wonderful in their own way, can lead to problems if not used properly.

4. If there is still something that bothers me after I have taken all these steps, I  sit with the person and CALMLY explain why what they have said or did bothered me. Often, the person in question may not have realized they were being hurtful and it leads to better communication.

I may not have made the best decisions in the past regarding these issues, but hopefully by learning from my mistakes, I can make better choices in the future.

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When sports and entertainment collide.