Do you know the reason you acted or spoke the way you did? Take a moment of reflection. Think strongly about what may have caused you do react that way. What was your intent when you did this?
When harshly confronted, when listening to another’s malice or spite about others (think heated opinions about traffic or politics or…), or when someone unexpectedly fesses up about some transgression, human’s typically counter 1 of 3 ways: Flight, Fight or Freeze. My personal modus operandi? I freeze. I am stunned when someone lashes out at me, is spiteful about something or someone (who isn’t there to defend themselves) or is even mildly surly.
To combat this, I internalize 1 question, “What is/was your intent?” At worst, they huff and puff and storm off. At best, someone may reflect on their reaction and rephrase their statement. My children, while growing up, heard me ask this question all the time. It was and still is powerful.
LOOK IN THE MIRROR: Think of the last time you overreacted. What was your intent? To vent, to hurt, to dominate? None of these add value and causes ill-will with your partner (spouse, co-worker, parent, child, boss, or friend).