Sometimes the Answer is to Do Nothing

In this modern world, we’re practically spoon-fed the benefits of taking action.

And yes, action is important.

Action can help you get out of an anxious spiral.

It can help you get away from a dangerous situation.

But is it always the answer?

The answer is an emphatic NO.

Let’s go through some examples.

Emotions Come and Go

Have you ever had an emotion so strong that you thought it would last forever?

I mean, this is not your run-of-the-mill emotion. This is an emotion so intense that you felt like you could huff and puff and blow your own house down. Anger can be like this.

But what happened to that emotion? Eventually it went away. Sometimes emotions take time to dissipate, but dissipate they do.

It’s natural to feel like a feeling will last forever. Some, like grief can last for far too long. But even that emotion will change over time.

Still, it can be tempting to feel like a bad situation must be fixed right NOW, whatever it takes.

But that doesn’t always work. Sometimes it makes the situation worse. Acting while you’re in a negative emotional state can cause unintended consequences.

Like the one we’ll turn to next…

When Someone Angers You, Do Nothing

I never feel good responding to someone when I’m angry. Even when it’s justified.

Using my anger to attack someone else might feel good in the moment, but it’s damaging to any relationship in the long term.

Have you found this to be true?

When someone angers you, what could be a better way to respond?You could stick out your tongue. You could turn around and have the rude person stare at your back. Or you could just do nothing.

You probably should just do nothing.

Why?

Because when you don’t respond to an attack, you let the attack hang in the air, and the person who gave it is forced to deal with the weight of their words. They have to sit and deal with what they just did. The emotional venom they spewed only has one place to go–right back at them.

Isn’t that a better option than taking on someone else’s pain?

Doesn’t that feel better than letting another person get the best of you?

It’s something I’m practicing more and more.

And the more I do it, the more I realize how good it makes me feel to just let difficult emotions and situations pass me by, like a roaring train moving into the distance, over a hill and out of view.

All while I do nothing.

All while I go on with my life.