Here is a useful tip I’ve discovered whenever I encounter unknown situations:
Just ask yourself, “What would the best version of myself be like in this moment?”
(This is particularly useful for robots, like that Facebook founder, who are only pretending to be humans. Just a joke. Chill out. Don’t put me on some list.)
Anyway, it’s a useful tip because it’s an open-ended question. Which forces you to flip on the ol’ imagination. Rather than asking yourself silly, self-doubting (or self-loathing) closed- ended questions. Like, “Should I do X?”, “Should I have said Y?”
This question is not meant to encourage you to shut off in the middle of real-life scenarios, so you can brainstorm how to behave. Don’t do that, psycho. Just be authentic.
It’s really meant more for reflection. Especially if you ever find yourself putting your foot in your own mouth. Or wishing you’d have handled a situation differently.
You’re going to botch it all up quite a few times in your life. Shrug it off. Then reflect.
How could that have gone differently?
“How would the best version of myself handled that moment?”
Asking these kinds of questions creates the semblance of an ideal for you to strive for in future scenarios. That, paired with the critical self-knowledge of your own past uncomfortable failures, gives you some good guardrails for future interactions.
“What’s the worst than could happen?” and “How would the best version of myself handle this?”
Aim to end up somewhere in the middle of those. Reflect. Move on with your life. Improve in the future.