5 Small Questions That Can Save You From Big Heartbreak When You're Angry

Five skills that will carry you far in life, not just relationships.

Texting and social media can harm your relationship Samuel Borges Photography | Canva

From texting to posting on social media, technology has made it too easy to communicate our feelings, especially negative ones, instantaneously and publicly. This leads to careless and often toxic conversations with no filters and a lot of anger and heartache and can ultimately harm your relationship, causing it to unravel.

So, how can you stop yourself from turning a bad situation into an even uglier one?


RELATED: 13 Most Passive Aggressive Texts People Send (And What They Actually Mean)

Five simple questions to ask yourself before you say something you'll regret

1. Can you stand by what you're about to say? 

The recipient may hold onto your message for future use or as ammunition. Are you ready to live with the consequences of what you said?

She pauses a moment to save herself while texting Ekateryna Zubal via Shutterstock


2. Was your response triggered by elevated emotions?

Were you feeling down, irritated, or stressed when you received that negative text or email? Why not respond when you are feeling more positive and calm?

Neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. says, "Emotions only last in our bodies for 90 seconds. After that, the physical reaction dissipates, unless our cognitive brain kicks in and starts connecting our anger with past events."

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3. Do you know the whole story?

Can you give the other person the benefit of the doubt? We all have bad days. Or pick up the phone and ask to talk more about it. People often reach the wrong conclusions when they quickly read a text. Can you focus on the positive aspects of your relationship with this person?

@theholisticpsychologist When we go into fight mode, intense sympathetic energy takes over the body. We’re: hostile, aggressive, and unable to calm down. The body is trying to self protect by fighting the (perceived) threat #selfhealers #fightorflight #fightresponse #childhoodtrauma ♬ Sad Emotional Piano - DS Productions

4. Have you thought through who else might be hurt?

My husband has quoted this slogan, "Loose lips sink ships," to me so many times that it has become one of my mantras. It originated in World War II and warned against speaking of ship movements, which might be heard by enemy agents. It sent a loud and clear directive to U.S. citizens and the military to refrain from careless talk.

 It still holds for today in many ways, and its modern counterpart "Loose Tweets Sink Fleets" serves as a message to avoid careless dissemination of information over social media.

Try to walk on the side of caution with your written words!


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5. Do you still want to do this after counting to 10 and taking a deep breath? 

The best thing to do if you’re having a negative conversation or even a full-blown argument with someone over text is to take a moment, count to ten, and then see if you still want to send that text. Yes, that one, with a lot of unnecessary capitalization and too many exclamation points and spelling errors to count.


You are responsible for your actions, I am responsible for my feelings.

♬ original sound - Layla K. Saleh

The same goes for social media. You can always post once your emotions cool down.


She waits and think to save herself before texting PeopleImages.com - Yuri A via Shutterstock

Waiting to send a text might seem like a simple thing but in the heat of the moment, it can be incredibly difficult not to lash out in anger. Pausing while you’re upset is beneficial for both you and the person you’re mad at — but when you’re up in arms already, it can be a battle of wills that you’re likely to lose.

Still, it’s an important skill to develop in any situation, even if you’re not just texting someone. When tensions get high, cooler heads must prevail. So take a second to figure out why those ten seconds are so precious when preserving your relationship with the person on the other end of the line.


The next time you feel angry or hurt and start to fire off a careless or negative text, pause, let the emotion pass, and count to 10.

RELATED: 5 Quiet Things To Do When You're Angry — That Could Literally Save Your Relationship

Ellen Kamaras is a life and organizational coach whose specialties include: relationship-coaching for singles, individuals seeking to reinvent themselves, empty-nesters looking for new purpose and fulfillment, and individuals who want to get “unstuck” but are afraid to take risks.