Tool For Tuesday. Think. Especially in this Harried, Hyperbolic Holiday Season

I got entangled in a family dispute the other day. One of those silly arguments that flare up and everyone gets worked up. I told myself not to jump in but I was unable to stop myself and suddenly I made a bigger mess of things.

Maybe it’s the holiday season. It seems there are more of those kind of arguments about this time of year. Some people are making things homey. Others are acting homicidal. So what’s my tool for Tuesday?

Think. Think before we speak.

Is what we are about to say…

Thoughtful? Helpful? Intelligent? Necessary? Kind?

I could have used this tool! Eventually, the crisis passed and everything is calm again but I wished I’d remembered that sooner. I forgot about it and I coulda, woulda, shoulda used it.

Today I want to remind myself that emotional control always trumps situational control. If I stay in control of myself, then the situation is bound to get easier. And I need to think before I speak.

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to all my friends!

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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12 Responses to Tool For Tuesday. Think. Especially in this Harried, Hyperbolic Holiday Season

  1. Rhonda Blender says:

    “Emotional control trumps situational control.” I should have this tattood on my right hand. Then perhaps not only will it remind me of the wisdom of emotional control but it will prevent me from taking action when I should be still. As always, well done Diana. Thank you.

  2. Rhonda says:

    You’re human. It happens. Love to all and happy Hanukkah

    Rhonda Cohen


    • dianabletter says:

      Hello there, Rhonda, thank you for reminding me that we all make mistakes and can’t beat ourselves up over them. Happy Hanukah!

  3. Pam Huggins says:

    Thank you for the great reminder and helpful tool! Great timing too.
    Happy Holidays to you and your family.
    I really appreciate your tips and sharing of yourself. You make a positive difference in this world and I’m grateful to know you through your writing.
    Here’s to 2015!

  4. Ellen Wasserson says:

    So true! I wish I had read this yesterday. I am going to be quoting you- “Emotional control trumps situational control”. thanks for that!

    • dianabletter says:

      Hi Ellen, you are welcome. I am glad that phrase struck a chord with you. I need to always remember it, too, which is why I wrote it down!

  5. T H I N K. Excellent suggestion, Diana.
    It will make me pause and remember the five words. And if I can’t remember, I’ll follow my grandmother’s and my mother’s constant reminders: If you can’t say something nice, stay busy doing other things and say nothing. 🙂

  6. Sybil says:

    The adage “count to ten” is useful before speaking in anger.

    • dianabletter says:

      Very true! I forgot the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 rule. Thanks for reminding me – and I’ll remember to do it with my mouth closed so a bee doesn’t fly in and sting me, reminding me over again!

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