This may be the first in a series of occasional posts.

What if…

the next time you wanted to say or write something sarcastic or snarky, or something harsh, mean, critical or cutting to or about someone,

you pushed your lips together, took three deep breaths, and

DIDN’T say it?

If it’s appropriate to the situation (like being in a meeting or on a phone call, or even online), consider writing it down and setting it aside. Then go back to it later and read it.

Would the person you are at your best, or the person you want to be, say that? Why did you feel like saying it or think of saying it? Was it precipitated by someone else’s actions or words? Were you HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired), hurt, irritated, feeling bad about yourself and taking it out on someone else? Are these types of remarks just reflexive habits you’ve fallen into? If so, why? Is it the behavior of the people you surround yourself with? Do you want to continue or change your behavior?

There’s much we can learn from pausing, thinking, and actively choosing.