How Not to Fly Off Like a 747

747aI just flew off the handle like a 747! Can you relate to this? When unpleasant things happen and we don’t manage our emotional impulses, it can get us in trouble. I referenced this as being cubed in my previous two posts. Daniel Goleman calls this an emotional hijack. Emotions are taking over and we act accordingly. Unfortunately our reactions don’t serve us well. In my last post we looked at three simple techniques to self regulate. In today’s post, we’ll explore something a little more in depth.

To better manage our reactions, we need to enlist a pause button that gives us just enough time to think through our reactions and steer clear of  impulsive reactions. Making this pause button a routine part of your reaction cycle takes effort and time. Try to make this your mantra: STEER.

Stop – Take a moment to just stop and pause. Breathe. Count to ten in your head; it helps get your logical brain engaged.

Think – Take a minute to think about what just happened and why you want to react. Acknowledge how you are feeling; naming emotions is the first step in taming them.

Evaluate – Logically evaluate the situation. If you were tempted to fly off the handle, chances are you subconsciously felt a threat and went into ‘fight or flight’ mode – more specifically fight. Is that threat real or perceived? What are the consequences of you reacting without thinking it through?

Empathize – Try to see it from all angles and perspectives. Attempt to remove your judgment of the situation or person and consider another way of looking at or responding to the situation.

Respond – Formulate your response in a calm manner. Speak in an even tone and use positive language. Do so as if your future depends on it – because it does.

Practicing this should help raise your EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) and steer you clear of relationship landmines.

Thanks for reading. Make it an EQ day!


  1. Susan Kanellos says:

    Thank you, Dawn.

    I can relate to this article and have noticed that like this article suggests, pausing, “cooling down” and evaluation, without my emotions, has really helped me.

  2. Thank you Dawn for these tidbits of wisdom. They are very helpful.

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