How many times have you reacted instantly to an email with a “justified” emotional response, only to regret it later?
As human beings, we get provoked by situations and other people. Brain scientists refer to this as “amygdala hijacking”. It’s a survival response from the earliest days of humankind when we needed to react quickly to the saber-tooth tiger at the mouth of our cave.
We no longer live in caves confronting saber tooth tigers. But we’re still hard-wired to react emotionally to whatever threats we perceive. Fortunately, we can learn to pause before we turn our feelings into actions.
My colleague Dawson Church, an expert in energy healing, recently told me that whenever he writes an email in response to someone who has “triggered” him, he lets it sit for 24 hours without hitting SEND. Often, he ends up deleting his response entirely. He waits until the “emotional hijack” is over before communicating.
When we respond to everything as if the building is on fire or our honor is at stake, we can create a ripple effect much worse than the original problem. Most important things are not urgent. Many urgent things are not that important
So when you are about to let loose with a justifiable retort, pause. Take a deep breath, buy some time, and come back when you’re calm.
Then ask yourself, “What is my purpose here?”
Keep things emotionally clean and clear. Say what you really want to say now that you’re over the amygdala hijack.
And then hit SEND.