Giving in to Impulse is Easy yet the Consequences are Hard to Overcome

Broadcaster Dori Monson, image courtesy of the Seattle Times

Emotions are powerful. They drive attitudes and behavior, making self control challenging if not seemingly impossible. That can be dangerous if we don’t learn how to respond with wisdom and skill.

Pain often comes with poor judgment, decisions and behavior and it hits hard.

Seattle radio host Dori Monson is just beginning to learn this and will have to endure some degree of short-and-long-term suffering for his reckless decision to tweet something he likely felt was funny, harmless and safe:

“Inslee: we follow science in WA. The state where I could go to Olympia tomorrow and change my birth cert to say I was a girl on 10/2/61 HAHAHAHAHA.”

Funny thing about humor is that universal acceptance of it is not common. It also isn’t always harmless and safe. It can offend, hurt and incite negative emotions and aggression.

Monson is certainly entitled to his beliefs. Expressing them within an echo chamber might be safe yet doing such towards the general population or the mean streets of the Twitterverse in a mocking way comes with risk.

Monson been suspended indefinitely. He’s likely additionally upset different superiors at his place of employ. He’s made it difficult for them personally as well as challenging to bring Monson back anytime soon, at least not without him privately and personally owning his errors, expressing clear remorse, with sincerity and showing with words and deeds that he understands why what he said and did was hurtful.

He will also be required to state and show, with evidence what he will do to improve and then do it, over time and prove it is not just some weak attempt at impression management.

Monson, like most of us in life, is still learning. This was not a mistake however. It was a foolish, arrogant, preventable error.

What we learn in life is that once we commit an error, what’s done is done. What’s important at that point is answering the question in a moral way, “what now?” How will Monson, like any of us when we’ve turned people off and harmed our reputation, choose to respond?

Monson can recover from his foolishness if he is willing to be show sustained humility and compassion, expressing sincerity of remorse, seek to learn to gain understanding and take strong steps at making “right” with those he offended.

Walking the walk from here on out from what he learns will help him restore reputation with his employer and construct or rebuild it with his critics.

Will he rise above ego and do it? That’s the expectation and way to regain what he wants in life.

Michael Toebe is a reputation specialist who helps individuals and organizations more accurately analyze and wisely, successfully respond in disputes, ongoing conflicts, negotiation and professional and personal crisis.