A couple of years ago I had a really great friend (euphemism for okayish ex-boyfriend) who taught me one of the most important life hacks I have ever encountered and still use till this day.
This has seriously helped me deal with my anxiety tremendously and has proven helpful in job interviews, social gatherings, and even on dates.
I will teach my children this and have them practice it every day.
It’s just that good.
Two words that give you time, clarity, and will ensure you communicate as effectively as possible: “I’m thinking.”
In the hecticness (I make up words sometimes) of modernity, we have grown accustomed to fast. Fast foods, fast cars, fast fashion, etc.
Unfortunately, we also have adopted this mentality when it comes to our mentality. We spew out the first thought we have and realize, sometimes milliseconds later, that we didn’t actually mean what we said or that we could have used better phrasing.
Add anxiety into the mix and you get a flaming hot mess. Trust me, I speak from experience.
These two words are simple yet powerful. It is okay to say “please hold on, I’m thinking” and take a few seconds to…..THINK. Totally okay.
Take this time to gather your thoughts, choose your words, and reply like a mother effing boss.
And 99.9% of the time no one is going to get upset at you for asking for a moment to think.
You will be much better understood, get what you actually want, and regret a lot less.
After all, how many times do you rewrite an important text message before you send it?
I mean, can you imagine if Donald Trump actually took a few seconds to think before speaking?
This life hack could save us a nuclear war with just two words and a few seconds.
Now, I am not suggesting that you start to filter yourself. I am only suggesting for you to think of the reason you are answering the question and what goal you want to achieve with your answer.
When you’re upset, you may want to tell someone the reason you are upset is “….because fuck you, that’s why ” instinctively (assuming you have anger issues).
But “I am upset because you made me feel_____ and_____” will get you a whole lot closer to your goal, which in this case is to be understood. It only takes a short pause to turn a provocative response it a productive one.
Now, that was a dramatic example (I am very dramatic), but I think it got the point across clearly (and aggressively).
This “life hack” is very simple but highly effective.
I hope you adopt this little habit and that it proves as helpful to you as it has for me.