Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. A good friend once told me that when I wanted to unleash all of my angry emotions upon a guy I was dating. I don't recall the details of why we were fighting. But undoubtedly he said or did something that hurt my feelings. And I wanted him to beg for forgiveness. So for the next two days, I stared at my phone. Waiting for his name to pop up. Wishing that he would call me. And willing myself not to dial his number before he succumbed to phoning me. At least that’s what I hoped would happen. In my mind, it was a game of "who will blink first?". But I couldn't be sure if I was the only one playing this game. And so I stewed over all of the things I wanted to say to him if he called me, or if I dared to call him first. None of my thoughts were those of a sane, mature or thoughtful woman!
Do you know that sensation when your insides feel restless? Maybe it's stress. Maybe it's anxiety. Maybe it's worry. Maybe it's dread. Maybe it's all of the above or more. But you are aware that your insides are overwhelmed with icky emotions. And you know that you have two choices. You can either let your emotions control you. Or you can control your emotions. For me, this feeling came about because I thought I was losing the love and attention of someone I wanted in my life. This man and I shared a connection that was strong. We had a bond. I knew it could be shaken, but I did not think it was breakable. You know that feeling when you think it’s love... They are the first person you think about when you wake up... They are the last person you think about when you lay your head on the pillow at night... And undoubtedly, they cross your mind many times throughout the day. You want to do thoughtful gestures for this person, like buy them a shirt you think will look good on them or surprise them with concert tickets to see their favorite band. You want to plan activities with this person, like a bike ride outing on a scenic tote path or spend a day on the water fishing because you know it's one of their favorite activities. And when you envision important moments in your life, you see this person with you. You clearly see them in your future. And the future looks joyful and happy! So when that relationship takes a negative shift, a change, or an unwanted direction, it's painful. And those negative emotions can be felt throughout every nerve ending in your body. In my upcoming book, Live Your Playlist, I have important advice for anyone going through an unwanted break up. The chapter is called "Live Your Walk Out Song." It's a must read for anyone who is on the verge of embarrassing themselves when a relationship is crumbling. I give the reader concrete advice on how to take their power back! But for the purpose of this blog, let's concentrate on something that sounds simple but is so hard to do. Especially for those of us who like to verbally and dramatically express ourselves. My advice is... say nothing... do nothing.
When you want to scream, cry, lash out, send nasty text messages, or God forbid even beg for that person to stay, remember these words... Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all. There is power in silence. Through your own silence, you never say anything that you will later regret. Maybe you will eventually talk things out. But through your silence, you've given your emotions time to settle. And this gives you an opportunity to speak more clearly and thoughtfully when a conversation occurs. Trust me, you're more likely to be heard when you're thoughtful. And if this is a relationship that is toxic and unhealthy, your silence will give you an opportunity to reflect, find clarity and walk away. Make no room in your life for unhealthy relationships that do not make you happy.
Remember these five pieces of advice if you are advising a friend... counseling yourself... or about to pick up your phone and possibly sound crazy...
- Walk away from your phone or computer.
- Distract yourself in a healthy way (I suggest a walk, run or workout to release your stress).
- Think about the type of person you DON’T want to be.
AND ALWAYS repeat these words to yourself... THE BEST THING TO DO RIGHT NOW IS SAY NOTHING, DO NOTHING.
Suggested playlist songs for taking your power back: