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what not to say

I always tell people that I know when I need a vacation.  It’s when the things that normally don’t bother me start to make me angry.  It might be an insensitive statement, a bad driver, a slow person in line for food, or an unintended slight on my community.  For the most part, these are not worthy of any level of rage.  But sometimes, these start to add up and I want to unload on someone.  That’s when I look in the mirror and realize, it might be time for a break.

Last week was one of those weeks.

Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing terrible.  It was just a lot of little annoyances that started to add up.  I even got to the point where I was ranting a bit in my office.  I went so far as to record it and prepared to unleash my fury onto the unsuspecting world.  Then I took a breath.  I sent the video to a few trusted friends and said, “What do you think?  Should I post this?”  One of them, as you might suspect was my wife.

Her response?  “Please don’t post that.”

I am glad I didn’t.

For me, though it feels therapeutic to unload when I am angry, it almost never ends well.  (It’s one of the reasons to stop complaining).  Without fail, I say something that I don’t mean.  Or, often because I am frustrated, I say it without the context that I want.  I hurt someone’s feelings.  I alienate someone.  You get the idea.  And in my experience, once I say it, I almost never get the chance to take it back.

That is why I think some of the best decisions happen when I decide what NOT to say.

Sure, I could get it off my chest.  I could “give them a piece of my mind.”  But as I like to say:  Complaining is like vomiting.  It makes you feel better and everyone around you sick.

That will be my mantra this week.  Take a deep breath.  Gain perspective.  And remember that not every idea that pops in your head needs to come out of your mouth.

Have a great week everyone.

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