The Challenge of Not Having the Last Word
The Challenge of Not Having the Last Word

Whether you are talking with a customer, talking with your spouse or talking with a colleague, rarely does anything good happen out of an explosion of anger

For most of my adult career, I have tried very hard to not fight to have the last word. I have worked at turning the cheek the other way and not having outbursts that create unnecessary repercussions.

Often times I want to prizefight with my mouth—but I hold a lot back because of the bigger picture. As I get older, my filter works better. Many don’t hold back or have a filter, though.

Thus, if I am in the minority, should I keep my mouth shut?

I was recently in a situation where I received an angry phone call from an industry colleague. During our conversation, they uncharacteristically yelled, screamed and name called—to which I replied with, “What is your end goal? What are you trying to accomplish?”

Their reply was that they were frustrated, and they wanted me to know that. I then asked if they felt better. That clearly was not the question they wanted to be asked as they flew off the handle again. 

I am not sure that is a good enough reason to lose your cool, as the good that can potentially come out of it is far out-weighed by the negative.

While I didn’t appreciate the off-the-handle approach, I am smart enough to know good situations versus bad. In that situation, me keeping my calm was critical to the potential of a cool down period and moving forward with life and business.

Had I been Donald Trump, the story may have been different.

Is that wrong? Is it wrong to lose your cool? I guess it depends who your opponent in that argument is.

I remember having a conversation with my Dad when I was younger. He said that one day my mouth would get me in serious trouble. From that moment on, I have worked hard at picking my battles. If I am going to pick a fight, I better have a purpose or an outcome I expect to happen (those are typically reserved for Comcast). If I am just simply angry, I should find another outlet to let go of my frustration.

Far too often in life, people lose their cool. In the grand scheme of things, losing your cool probably does you no good. Think about a baseball game where the manager loses their cool, kicks dirt and throws a base. Does the umpire change his decision? No. In fact, because of the hierarchy of power, he tosses him from the game.

In some scenarios, the manager does have an outcome they hope to accomplish—showing their team that he has their back and powering them up for the remainder of the battle.

Whether you are talking with a customer, talking with your spouse, talking with your child or talking with a colleague, rarely does anything good happen out of an explosion of anger. We would all be in a better place if we just kept our mouths shut or found that other outlet to let go of the frustration.

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