Several years ago I read a quote by Dr. John Maxwell where he said: never use a hammer to swat a fly off of someone’s head. I think all of us would agree: that’s fairly good advice!
The point is that too many times we overreact to people when something happens or they say something that we don’t agree with. Using a hammer to swat a fly off of someone’s head is definitely an overreaction to a fairly simple act. But how many times do we do that to the people who surround us in life? A simple comment is taken the wrong way and we overreact in our response to that comment.
Here’s the key: if you are going to succeed in life then you must be willing to react to people in a reasonable and relevant way. Here are a few things to focus on this week in your interaction with and response to people:
First – be willing to see the whole picture. You may not fully understand what is going on behind the scenes that caused them to do or say what they did. Rather than immediately put that other person “in their place”; why don’t you stop and put yourself “in their place” and you may understand why they did what they did
Secondly – be willing to wait to respond. “Immediately” may not be the right time to say anything; in fact you may end up saying something you regret. Take the time to step back and evaluate before you say anything.
Thirdly – use the right tone of voice. In the moment – your voice may rise with anger and frustration which is only going to escalate an already volatile situation. Remember what Proverbs 15:1 says:
“a soft answer turns away wrath but harsh words stir up anger”
So as a take on this week, why don’t you put the hammer away and be the bigger person. Don’t overreact and not only might you save a relationship – but you will save a lot stress in your life as well.