The Best Time to Fight Back

I read an article entitled The Best Time to Fight Back. The temptation might be to do it immediately, while the wound is still fresh, but that is not a good idea. Miriam Browning, the former deputy chief information officer for the Department of the Army suggests, “You really need a cool-down period, even if it’s only a couple of hours. The worst thing you can do is fire off an email or make an angry phone call, or, even worse, throw a punch in the heat of the moment.”

She suggests that instead, write down all the emotions, take some time to review them and then form a rational response. “That way, you can think things through and decide whether or not it’s even a battle worth fighting. If it is, you want to do it within the first twenty-four hours, but not within the first hour.”

Taking the extra time also provides an opportunity to line up some allies, people to hold in reserve, in case things do not go as well as you hope. And when you do retaliate, do it with facts, rather than opinions.

While taking all of this into consideration, there are those rare occasions when something happens that is off-the-charts egregious. At that time, an emotionally charged response may be exactly what is called for. However, Browning cautions, “You need to deploy that only after the most aggressive kind of attack.”

I have experienced typical work difficulties. I have muddled through personality clashes and minor disagreements in social settings. In those instances I have found that an apology always works wonders, even when I knew it was not my error.

Proverbs 15:1 states: “A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger.”

Softness and contrition almost always diffuse a heated situation. I wholeheartedly agree with taking time to regroup and give thought before responding.

Thankfully, I have not encountered an aggressive personal attack. If and when I do I will try to remember these guidelines and words of wisdom.

If an aggressive personal attack or something extremely egregious ever involves my children or (hopefully some day) grandchildren, control is off the table. There will be no cool-down period. There will be no waiting 24 hours.

The old adage “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” is certainly true.

But, oh honey. My adrenaline level will kick into high gear. My eyes will turn a fluorescent white, the back of my shirt will rip apart, my long pants will suddenly become distressed-look, ragged capris, my skin will become green and I will toss anything or anyone in my way as I race toward justice.

This mild-mannered 60 year-old will be mild-mannered no longer.

There are moments in life that require us to go all-out batshit crazy. And age is non-issue.

Author: Rebecca Hendrixson

Hello, I'm Rebecca. I am a wife and mother and freelance writer. I love to share honest thoughts, anecdotes, incidents and encouragement. I am documenting my one year of being 60 years old. Join me on the journey. And please leave comments or send me an email. I will respond. We are all in this together. Come be my comrade.

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