Listen (04:13) or Download MP3
- We can become emotionally distressed in an instant, in any situation.
- Take a timeout!
- The bathroom is a great escape with a natural excuse.
- Mouth the words for privacy, and use the mirror
- Story: the executive offsite.
Have you ever been in the middle of a difficult situation and started feeling emotionally distressed? Perhaps you went from being “fine” to really angry and very defensive or hurt? This happens in close relationships, at family events, and even in the middle of business interactions where displaying such emotional turmoil can brand us as weak, unreliable, or vulnerable to manipulation.
What can you do? Take a timeout!
“Would you excuse me for a moment?”
And where should you go? Well, I suggest someplace private, where you can quickly do a few rounds of EFT tapping to restore yourself to calm confidence. You may feel comfortable just taking a break outside. Or quickly going to your private office.
But there is one place we all have permission to visit for a few minutes even in the middle of intense discussions. The bathroom. It’s a perfect excuse. You don’t have to explain where you are going, and if you’ve been drinking a lot of water at a meeting, it’s completely understandable to take a few minutes every hour for a break.
Even individuals who object or feel threatened if you “walk out on them” in the middle of an argument will understand if you say you must visit the bathroom. And if you are arguing, and nothing you say is helping to bring peace to the conversation, I say you need to unload some noxious stuff, and if you need to tell a white lie to get yourself the timeout you need, go for it!
While bathrooms offer a measure of privacy, you probably can’t start screaming while tapping on your karate chop point, “Even though I am so pissed off at my S.O.B. boss… I deeply and completely accept myself!” Here are a couple of options:
1) You can mouth the words (without making sound).
2) Look at yourself in the mirror, mouth the words, and make corresponding “faces” in the mirror as you tap. This mirror technique can be extremely effective at all times, and it is really handy when you just can’t say anything out loud.
I remember once at an executive offsite. We were trying to make a difficult decision, and each of us had a mixture of strong opinions about the options. Some comments were made that disturbed everyone and stalled progress. We’d been meeting for awhile, so I asked if we could take a short “bio-break.” Everyone agreed. I went to the bathroom and tapped just three rounds:
“Even though I am feeling tense and unclear, I choose to be calm and confident… no matter what!”
“Even though I am not sure what to recommend, I ask my guidance to be clear and insightful.”
“Even though I hate conflict and personal attacks, I choose to find it surprisingly easy to stay calm and confident as others express their emotions and fears.”
When we returned, I felt completely at ease. I made some useful, constructive observations. And, everyone else had clearly benefited by taking a break as well (even though I am sure I am the only one that used EFT; there are many ways to blow off steam and return to clarity… standing in the sunshine, taking deep breaths, saying a short prayer asking for support from a higher power).
So take a timeout when you need it. If even ONE person changes his or her energy, the whole situation has the option to unfold in a healthier way. I recommend a few short rounds of EFT because I don’t know of any better way to harmonize upset emotions as quickly. Then, focus on your breathing as you return to the discussion, to listen and understand, and to be able to respond with calm confidence in a heart-centered and balanced way.