Think before acting on emotion. This one is the hardest for me. As soon as I feel hurt, frustrated, or angry, I want to do something with it—which is always a bad idea. I’ve realized my initial emotional reaction does not always reflect how I really feel about something. Initially, I might feel scared or angry, but once I calm down and think things through, I often realize I overreacted.
When you feel a strong emotion, try to sit it for a while. Don’t use it or run from it—just feel it. When you learn to observe your feelings before acting on them, you minimize the negativity you create in two ways: you process, analyze, and deal with feelings before putting them on someone else; and you communicate in a way that inspires them to stay open instead of shutting down.