Have you ever wondered how you can stop a day from going downhill before it starts?
I’ve mentioned that one of the first steps in getting a handle on anger or yelling is knowing our anger triggers – this week I found something else that totally helped me not snap. It may sound silly, or too simple, but I want to share and see if it helps you too.
I realized I need to listen to what I’m rehearsing in my head.
Here’s what I mean – we were about to leave the library on Wednesday and I looked around and couldn’t find my 10 year old. I had an arm full of books, two other hungry kids and I was really annoyed he’d disappeared. That’s when I noticed what I was rehearsing in my head. I was preparing the annoyed rant I would say when I found him. I was already planning how I would go, “James! Come ON! If it’s time to go you don’t..blah, blah blah….”.
When I noticed I was planning a rant it stopped me. I thought, “I don’t want to spend the afternoon all steamed up.”
I didn’t exactly feel calm, but it was enough to get me to pause my negative thinking. Suddenly my son came around a bookshelf. Because I was quiet, he spoke first, “Oh there you are Mama, I’ve been looking for you!”
We left with everyone’s spirits intact, and because I’d stayed calm I was able to kindly, in the car say, “Hey next time when we’re checking out please don’t leave to look at the fish.” and he could hear me because he wasn’t on the defensive.
So that’s it, my simple and possibly helpful realization that if I notice I am planning a rant, it may be better to interrupt those thoughts.
We become what we rehearse. Sometimes it really helps to use a kind voice even if we have to fake it.
What do you think? Do you ever notice yourself rehearsing a rant? Do you have any tips for stopping it from coming out of your mouth? 🙂