I recently wrote back to a “ponderer” who shared with me some issues that would surely be difficult to remove from anyone’s mind. It just so happens that this week I’d been thinking about how much our comebacks are influenced by our emotional states at the times when we use them. You know how it is, I’m sure. Some days you can take on the world. Things people say roll off and you rise above them. At other times, even small slights seem like huge insults. Perhaps you didn’t sleep well the night before. Or it may be that you’ve had too much going on in your life and one more negative comment or event is more than you can take. All the more reason to consider timing. Some moments in time or even days are just not right for responding to people who’ve caused you upset. Whenever possible, try to wait for one of those better days. Once negativity takes over your brain, it can wreak havoc on effective comebacks. It’s difficult to use those “choice points” in productive ways as we’ve discussed on this site. And URPs (unwanted repetitive episodes) can take over.
Step back at times like these. Take a deep breath. Go buy an ice cream or take a few minutes to think about the things that are going well. There are probably several. Give more time to them. Call a good friend. Or, as one of my good friends recommends, “Play the Rolling Stones REALLY loud and dance.
Find other ways to get where you want to go if the person causing you upset is between you and your goal. Clear your brain. Be good to yourself. And leave for another day that which can’t be productively and positively addressed today.