On Sunday night I settled down to do some reading. I picked-up my i-Phone to shut it down and there were three e-mails showing. I usually hit delete-delete-delete and deal with them in the morning. Unfortunately, though, I could see the first few words of one of the e-mails and I thought “urghhhh.”
Have you ever had that happen to you?
The next day I was talking with someone else who was wrestling with a similar situation, although it was a voice mail. This person asked me how I deal with these types of situations. And this is what I said.
First, I hit my 60 second reset button. This means I give the situation 60 seconds of thought. During that time I put the situation in one of three boxes. First, did I do something to create this response from the other person? Second, is this just the other person connecting with me about something he or she is frustrated or confused about? Or, third, is this a mystery that just needs more information to resolve. Then I determine what my action step is for the morning.
Next, I turn off an invisible light switch to end the thought.
Finally, if my brain is having trouble letting-go after this, I do this rather hokey thing. I picture my very cute grand-nephew, Nate, singing “Let it Go”, from the movie Frozen. Our family saw him sing and dance to that song many times with a huge smile on his face. As hokey as this sounds, it always relaxes my mind, makes me smile, and quickly changes my emotional state.
In today’s world of instant electronic messaging, this kind of thing happens to all of us. And one commitment I have made to myself and others around me is to not use electronic messaging to try and remedy a situation that has emotional undertones. I first deal with my own emotions and then, if necessary, reach out for a live conversation with others involved.
Each of us has to develop our own techniques for processing electronic conflict so we can let go and move on in a positive way. Here are six other resources you might find helpful.
Mental Tricks. In this first article from Leo Babauta called Three Mental Tricks to Deal with People Who Annoy You Babauta gives us three helpful strategies. I really like the first one, “Get Big.” Babauta reminds us that when we let people annoy us we are really regressing into being a two-year. We need to remember to act like a grown-up.
Highly Sensitive People. Fifteen to 20 percent of us experience “Sensory Processing Sensitivity”, which just means we have “nervous systems that process stimuli intensely.” In this helpful article 10 Life-Changing Tips for Highly Sensitive People writer Angel Chernoff provides insights into why we might be more sensitive to certain things and what we can do to help reduce our stress.
And, if you know someone else who is highly sensitive, I suggest you or they check-out Rebecca Temson’s article Why Am I So Sensitive And What To Do About It? I thought the section called “What I Can Do About My Sensitivity?” near the end of Temson’s article is especially helpful.
Not Responding Angry. In this article from BuzzFeed we get very helpful tips on how not to respond to messages and sound like we are angry.
Annoying People. In this clever article by Whitson Gordon called Top 10 Ways to Deal with Life’s Most Annoying People we get several interesting methods of dealing with annoying people in certain situations.
The Narcissist—How to Spot The Monkey Dance. In this blog article by Betsy Wuebker and Becky Blanton, which is an excerpt from the book The Narcissist at Work, the writers share how to recognize, smile, and ignore the “monkey dance” performed by the narcissist. This can apply to e-mail and texting, too.
No matter what technique you use, letting go is an important strategy each of us needs to have a healthy life. What are some of your techniques?