There’s a new 3-Second Rule in town…

A couple weeks ago, I attended a Disney/Batman themed wedding. And on Thursday night, I taught a body image workshop for UMD CHAARG at my alma mater. It was amazing!

Alright I have to out myself. The girl behind The Happy College Girl has been pretty…angry, judgmental, snippy, and negative lately. Aside from all of the crazy sh*t going on the world right now/always, there are some things in my own life that I really let get under my skin. In fact, I’m stewing about something RIGHT NOW.

Ug and when I’m in that mad, resentful place, I tend to say really mean things to and about other people. My voice takes on a harsh tone and I use all kinds of foul language. Other people get exhausted by me. My mind and body get tense and anxious. And the situation or people I’m mad at don’t get better. In fact, all of that anger and resentment just hooks me into that situation/person even more…and then it’s even harder for me to make peace with it. Gah!

Can you relate to feeling so angry and resentful at a person or situation that you say something really mean or snippy in the moment?

It’s so easy to let a person or situation trigger us into saying or doing something impulsive. But when we say or do that thing, we only feel slightly better. Then we get hooked into the situation even more and it takes us even longer to experience happiness and peace.

I’m not totally sure how to stop myself from saying or doing something impulsive out of anger…or from letting anger and resentment overtake me and ruin my whole day (or just part of my day). But I know it affects other people, doesn’t make them feel good, doesn’t make me feel good, and doesn’t do anything to move me forward.

That’s why I’ve decided to experiment with the 3-Second Rule–not the one that allows you to eat food that’s been on the floor for three seconds or less. This 3-Second Rule requires you to wait three seconds before speaking. The next time you’re having a conversation and you’re about to say something (even if it’s totally positive or benign), count 1, 2, 3, and then speak. I like this rule because it gives us a few moments to decide whether what we’re about to say will make ourselves and our conversation partners feel good and/or will move us forward in some way.

Then, no matter what we say, whether it’s that impulsive thing we were going to say anyway, or whether we’ve filtered it a bit, at least we took those crucial moments to think before we speak.

I think that the 3-Second Rule can help us be less reactive to people and situations so that we experience more peace, ease, and happiness in our lives.