Copyright 2023 Marline E. Pearson
Time Outs: Be Smart
Rules for Time Outs
Never say, “You need a timeout.” Say “I need a
timeout,” “We need a timeout,” or some other line
that helps you back away.
Wait at least 30 minutes, but not more than 24
hours to come back and talk about it.
Dos and Don’ts
Don’t keep repeating hot thoughts and nasty things you plan to say.
Replace negative thoughts that keep you angry with soothing thoughts or do something to calm down.
Try to identify the hurt behind your anger. Look at your Time Out pocket card.
Remember you have Value, are Important, are Equal, and are Worthy (VIEW).
1. Describe a time in the recent past when you were angry with someone, and it escalated.
2. What could you have said to back away and exit the escalating situation before it boiled over?
Example: I need some time to think let’s agree to take a break and calm down.
3. Reflect upon the situation that made you angry or upset. Try to identify the hurt behind your
anger. For example: were you feeling put down, rejected, disrespected, accused, distrusted,
ignored, jealous, unliked, unloved, or powerless?
4. What are some calming messages you could repeat in your head to help you calm down during a
Time Out? Example: “He’s had a bad day this isn’t about me we both might be a little wrong.”
be smart
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