Imagine you ask someone to do something which they have done already. They make take offence and hear your request as criticism. They may think they don’t need to be reminded to do what you asked. They may even react as if you have called them stupid or unreliable. Maybe their reaction surprises you as you thought you were only trying to be helpful. You have obviously touched an existing bruise. What next? You could react yourself as if you are being attacked. Now we have two people reacting and out of their minds. An alternative is to pause and put space between their reaction and your response. This gives you a chance to consider a response that will calm the situation. You also have a chance to examine your first responses or thoughts. You can thank your mind for coming up with a response so quickly. You don’t have to accept it. Before delivering the first response consider whether it will help the situation.This pause will help you choose the best response rather than shoot from the hip and have to apologise in the future. They may even see their reaction more clearly if they don’t get resistance. This won’t happen if you push back. Try a question.