Listen, Learn, and Love - 3 Keys to Harmony

Dr. Joan's Advice

Date: 04/29/2013

By: Dr. Joan

Subject: Think First, Speak Later

To The Observer:

So you reacted harshly to a comment from your partner. There was a lot of yelling back and forth. The argument ended when you ordered your partner out of the house.

Meanwhile, your dog sat in the corner and observed the two of you, barked, then got up and left the room. Your dog probably would have liked to put his paws over his ears, as well.

Your observation was that you had a lot in common with your dog. Once you got your partner out of the house, you wanted to flee the scene yourself, get out, go somewhere else.

We human beings do have much in common with other members of the animal kingdom. But there is at least one major difference that pertains in your situation. Most sub-human animals REACT to circumstances. Most humans tend to PROCESS circumstances before reacting. Now, you could disagree. Some animals, such as apes, chimps, dolphins, dogs, horses, elephants, whales, octopi, parrots, and probably you could add others, have a type of ability to reason. But the basic fact is they cannot process on the same level that humans can process a situation. Perhaps we only differ by degree of intelligence from our sub-animal friends, but we do differ.

You had a huge advantage over your dog when your partner made his comment. But you missed the boat. You could have consciously given yourself time to think about what to say and how to act toward your partner. It sounds as though you reacted INSTANTLY, which is what a sub-human animal might do.

So ... next time, think about how you DO differ from your dog. You have a unique human gift to process a situation BEFORE you react. My suggestion is take a deep breath and think through what you want to say in reply to your partner, before you say it.

You owe your partner an apology. And throw one in for your dog who sat through it all.

Good luck and keep in touch.

Dr. Joan’s Harmony Key: Think first, speak and act later.

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