What if you were truly in control of how your day goes? What if you could flip a switch and turn a difficult and challenging experience into a positive, learning experience? Would you be open to finding out how this is possible?

One of the lessons I have learned over the past few years is that the way we choose to deal with the situations we are put into everyday determines how our days and our weeks turn out. What I mean by this is that you don’t always have control of what’s coming through on email, or the phone call you received and especially what other people say to you.  What is in your control is your reaction and your response. And that alone can change how your day or week turns out.

Think back to a time when you received a negative or uncomfortable email from someone. How did that make you feel? I believe strongly that emails have energy and you can feel it when you open the message, anyone else notice that? How do you react when you receive that kind of message? Do you answer right away? Defend your actions or send an explanation? Let yourself get caught up in the emotion? In the past, these are definitely some of the ways I personally would have responded.  Here are a few strategies to try if you’d like to change your reactions to negative email:

  • Wait until you have been awake for at least 30 minutes before opening email in morning. Even better, do some exercise, reading or meditation before even looking at email, as this will help you to be in a better frame of mind when opening messages
  • If you see a subject line that makes you cringe or feel uncomfortable, wait to open it until you are ready. Take a deep breath and relax before you do, focusing on letting go of any emotion associated with the message.
  • When you do get an email that raises your blood pressure or that sets your adrenalin off, wait at least 1 hour before you respond. Even better, wait until the next day. That way you can respond with a clear head and leave emotion out of it.
  • There are times when it is better to pick up the phone and respond to a message, especially if you’re unsure whether the person meant to cause that kind of reaction.  Chances are that they may not have been aware, so give them the benefit of the doubt.

And finally, if you would like to avoid receiving these kinds of messages, I suggest paying close attention to the messages you are sending.  As I mentioned, emails have energy and if you’ve crafted a message and it doesn’t “feel right” either delete it or wait an hour before sending it and then see how it feels.

What strategies do you use to cope with negative emails, phone calls or conversations?

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