Sometimes we say things we wish we hadn’t. But once it is out, you can never take it back. Now we’re filled with regret and left picking up the pieces on a situation that could have been avoided.
This situation is can easily happen when things get heated. You may hurt someone you love or cause a division among your peers that really should have happen in the first place.
Instead of eating your words, use this simple trick to save you from saying something you’ll regret:
Introducing the “3-second trick”
Brought up by comedian and former late-night host Craig Ferguson, he said that there are 3-second trick is link to three questions you need to ask before saying something you might regret:
- Does this need to be said?
- Does this need to be said by me?
- Does this need to be said by me now?
The questions might appear simplistic but the more you think about and apply them, it becomes obvious that their simplicity is their very genius.
Not everything has to be expressed, especially when you get worked up and might end up saying something you don’t mean, which is really where the first question comes in.
Do you really need to tell them they’re idiots? No, you don’t truly think that, you just want to insult them because of the annoyance they’ve caused you in the past five minutes. Stop before you say something you’ll regret.
And for the second question, do you need to be the one to tell them they might be in the wrong job? Maybe you can talk to their best friend and convince them to have a conversation with the person? Especially if they tend to react defensively when you bring things like that up.
Finally, do you really need to say that they’re not very good at that new task they just picked up last week? Or would it be better to encourage they continue practicing and that they’ll get better soon?
In the moment, the right one of these three questions takes no more than a few seconds. However, it can help keep you from saying something you’ll regret much longer.