Before you do something rash … stop and think. Seriously. Stop, take a deep breath, walk away and think…
Think about the consequences
Think about the lasting impression your action will cause
Think about the domino effect you’re about to cause.
In a word … THINK!
When we act impulsively, we are normally acting on emotion. We are doing what feels good at that moment. A lot of times though, if we had stopped to think about it, we’d have realized that it won’t feel good later … when those pesky consequences rear their ugly heads.
Sure, it felt good and extremely satisfying to tell your boss off and quit. After all, she’d had it coming for a while. Now, though, when the landlord is looking for the rent and the utilities need to be paid and the job search is moving at a snail’s pace, you begin to think that maybe you should have kept your mouth shut.
Yes, you were angry. The Significant Other was really getting on your last nerve and the guy at the club was hot. The only think hotter was the tryst you had after the club closed. Now, in the cold light of day, with that itch you can’t seem to scratch, you’re thinking twice. The plus on the stick will definitely complicate things, … especially since you’ve managed to smooth things over with the significant other.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be that serious. Maybe you didn’t think too much about getting some gas, after all, you were about to be late. Now, as you sit on the side of the road waiting for AAA, you’re going to be really late.
Impulse and emotion can be good. A little impulsivity can be fun and add a little spice to your day. Emotion can be exactly what you need to get you to take the actions you need to take. Put the two together though, and you have a combustible situation. And a lot of times, you create a situation that will definitely blow up in your face.
Thinking makes a difference.
- You were upset at your boss’s latest rant but you thought about it. You didn’t act impulsively, but you used the emotion you felt and used it to fuel your job search. Several months later, you resigned and started a new job. And all the while, you’re bills were paid on time because you kept that paycheck.
- You were flattered by the hot guy at the club but kept it at the flirtation phase. Now you are itch free and not a future guest on the Maury show.
- You looked at your gauge on E and decided to stop at the gas station. As you filled up, you called and let people know you’d be about 10 minutes (and not over an hour) late.
We need start putting in the pause, before we act. You can’t un-ring a bell or put the toothpaste back in the tube. Likewise, you can’t take back harsh words or ill-planned actions.
Try one of these three things if you feel as if you are about to act impulsive and emotionally.
- Take a walk to clear your head.
- Step away from the situation. Go to another room, the bathroom, outside or even to your car.
- Call a friend to vent and let them talk you down (but remove yourself from the situation first).