I believe that 95% of conflict stems simply from miscommunication and misunderstanding. As a result, I don’t get my emotional feathers ruffled too often anymore. Rather, I have learned to PAUSE before responding when there is a problem, disappointment or conflict.
Let me be clear, thought, that his “aha” in my own life took time. In the name of being “in my truth,” I used to think I had to express myself quickly — and often — and I did so impulsively. When my heart rate was up, rarely did any good come out of those conversations.
Slowly but surely I began practicing the art of pausing. I would make myself hold my tongue or sit on my hands for at least 48 hours before allowing my mind to make assumptions or my mouth or hands to respond.
I can’t tell you how many times I have almost sent the email that could have confused or escalated a situation — only to later receive all my answers with grace and ease, as either I would collect my thoughts before sharing them in a constructive way or the other person would just clear things up fast (and thus highlight the distortion in my original assumption or fear).
The next time you run into a problem with a friend or family member, please just try to sit with it until your blood pressure normalizes, and you calm down enough to think clearly and ask versus assume.
I’ll bet you too will be amazed at how implementing this wise discipline will ease your mind, soothe your heart, and heal and preserve those relationships important to you.