Stay Calm Checklist

What if someone is rude to you online? Five pointers to help you keep your cool.

  1. Check Smile.

    You can’t work yourself into a rage without an angry face. Relax the muscles in your jaw, forehead, and lips to keep cool, then eke out a grin.

  2. Check Look ahead.

    Will this thing matter in five minutes? Five months? Five years? If not, why bother wasting energy on it?

  3. Check Put yourself in charge.

    Saying “I am choosing not to get angry about this” (or the opposite) can be empowering.

  4. Check Adopt a more flexible philosophy of life.

    A few truths: Things won’t always go your way. Accidents happen. The world is an imperfect place. Repeat as necessary.

  5. Check Think of the harm you may cause.

    Not just to whoever is on the receiving end of your blistering e-mail or post, but to yourself. For one thing, you may find yourself having to do some major repair work on a real-life relationship, should an e-mail exchange go grievously wrong. But beyond that, giving in to anger and negativity can make you feel disconnected from people, when what makes us happiest is to feel connected—even to strangers in a chat room.