Do You Pause to be Right or More Resourceful?
Many people report that when they feel triggered and at risk of going reactive, they take a moment to pause, hoping they can avoid sinking into the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT).
When you pause for a moment, what is the purpose of taking a pause?
I (Donna) recently asked that question in a course I was facilitating. One of the participants spoke up and said, “Usually I pause so I can come up with more information to manipulate the conversation and convince the other person that I am right.”
She looked into the Zoom camera, then smiled with an uncomfortable chuckle, as though she suddenly realized that may not be the best use of a momentary pause. I smiled with her and told her I appreciated her honesty.
Reflect for a moment about why you pause before you speak. Is it to judge the situation and who or what was wrong so you can come up with a cleverer way to win the point? Or, when you pause, are you intentionally taking a moment to calm yourself, access your deeper wisdom, and choose a more resourceful way to respond?
We can easily be confused by emotionally sensitive situations and follow the allure of wanting to look good or be right. Remembering to pause, to reflect, and to clarify how you want to be in the next moment requires practice and self-awareness.
We all have an intuitive capacity that, if accessed in a moment of pause, results in perceiving a situation with more sensitivity and understanding. It is like tuning into a radio station. If your intention is to tune into wanting to be right, you will hear information from that station. However, if you want to hear guidance from a deeper and wiser part of yourself, you will hear information from that station.
During a pause, you can drop into discernment, which is different from judging. Making a judgment is an opinion or a belief about the situation or another person that can create separation and fear. If you judge a situation as bad, then it stands to reason you want to defend yourself and come up with ways to prove you are right.
Discernment doesn’t try to dominate the other. When you discern in the moment, you are listening to deeper understanding. Often guidance comes in the form of an inner whisper arising from a broader view of the situation, sensing into the highest good for the moment.
When you first pause, reflect upon the purpose of your pause. Is it to allow yourself a chance to regain calm, clarity, and to tune in to a more skillful response—to tune in to becoming the best version of yourself in the moment?
As you pause and set your intention to listen to your inner Creator, here are two questions that can support you.
- What is the most effective way to respond?
- What supports the best outcome for everyone involved?
The value of pausing is that you can still deal with stress, overload, and frustration. Those emotions don’t have to block your intuition to create a powerful pause before you engage again. For many people, knowing the power of pause and accessing an inner calm is not the issue, it’s remembering to do it, especially in the moment when it counts the most.
Whether it is a troubling email, someone shooting you a puzzling look, or an issue that arises at work or home, taking an intentional pause and choosing the most resourceful response will benefit all those involved.