There are many situations in which it is very difficult not to respond to someone, such as when someone pushes your button. But in tense and problematic situations, it never makes sense to react impulsively or react better. It only takes a moment or two to consider whether your immediate reaction will make the situation better or worse.
Regardless of the obvious temptation, here are eight situations in which you’re better off not reacting to a provocation (at least not right away).
If you recommend not replying to another person…
- You are likely to hurt someone without any real possibility of resolving the situation or improving the relationship. Maybe you genuinely care about the person or the relationship is really important to you (pragmatically or otherwise). So there is no good reason to risk alienating them by being more open or negative about their behavior than you can handle emotionally. Some people are kind, loyal, and supportive, but they are quick to hurt and overreact to criticism. Other people’s rigidity makes them unable to appreciate other points of view. So it’s silly to say something that only hurts them and highlights the differences between you two. If these people have said or done something that upsets you, it’s better to try to ignore it and find a way to deal with it rather than directly communicating your frustration with them.
- It will hurt their feelings. If you want to act in a kind, considerate, and considerate manner, you definitely don’t want to make a gratuitous comment about another person, such as a “bad hair day.” They’ve specifically asked for feedback on their appearance, but it’s a charity to minimize the appearance of their hair and focus on what’s more prominent in their self-presentation. If they develop a strong self-image, they’ll be more likely to respond to you openly, but first, it’s a good idea to think about how it might affect them. The same rules apply if someone says something naive, misinformed, contradicting themselves, etc. Ignoring the negative impact of your reaction and saying the first words that come to mind will hurt the person and your relationship? is there
My advice seems to coincide with the polite saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” But reluctance to speak out doesn’t mean stifling your expression to avoid offending others – I generally don’t recommend it. It’s about not reacting unnecessarily, recklessly, or harshly to someone who makes you uncomfortable at the time.