How much time do you need to cool off when you get ticked? Are you an instant processor that needs to talk ASAP, or do you need time to think, evaluate, and reflect before re-engaging in conversation?
Neither temperament is wrong; both approaches contain inherent strengths and weaknesses. The instant processor avoids the simmering and build-up of negative emotions, but they also risk the premature expression of raw emotions. On the other hand, while the slower processor might avoid saying the wrong things, sometimes they take too long to say the right things. To minimize the downside of these approaches, I suggest that each temperament should practice a specific technique called “the ten-minute walk.”
The ten-minute walk is a quick trip to the altar of God where we cry, vent, express our emotion, and then wait for His comfort, conviction, and quiet guidance. It’s a brief time of intentionally seeking God’s counsel and perspective before re-engaging in conversation.
Helpful prayers during this time include: “Lord, heal my heart where it’s beat up and bruised…forgive me of my own ugliness…give me Your take on this situation…crush every scheme of Satan/the enemy that might be at play…and help me to please you with all of my responses.”
We don’t need to instantly blurt out our every emotion, and nor do we need an evening of silent treatment and withdrawal—sometimes a ten-minute walk is all that is necessary.