I recently heard a co-worker talking about his daughter’s cookie sale. I joined the conversation and asked about details, and he told me where the sign-up sheet was. About 5 minutes later, my co-worker approached me at my cube with the sign up sheet and brochure. I was so caught off-guard that I forgot to remember to “speak my truth” and tell him that I wouldn’t be ordering any cookies this time. So now I have purchased a $14 tub of cookie dough, when I really wish I hadn’t. How can I remember to take a breath and speak my truth when I’m caught off-guard like this?
One Tub of Cookies
Dear One Tub of Cookies,
Upon reflection, I’m sure that you realized your interest in the cookie details prompted your co-worker to assume that you wanted to purchase cookies too. This is why he hunted you down. In those moments when we’re put on the spot, the best thing we can do is simply “Stop” and take a deep breath. How do you remember to do this? For me, I anchor feeling uncomfortable or anxious in those moments with the visual of a big stop sign. This reminds me to stop talking and start breathing.
All of us feel pressure to reply immediately, but we really don’t have to. Sometimes it pays to use a line such as, “Give me a minute to gather my thoughts, and I’ll follow-up with you.” It’s also okay to simply say what you felt. “Oh, you probably thought since I asked about the cookies that I wanted to buy some. I was just curious, and perhaps next year.” Instead of beating yourself up, when the cookie dough comes in, simply give it to a neighbor or co-worker with children as a gift. You’ll make someone else very happy which will bring you joy.