How to Handle Stress Situations Better Than Will Smith


By now more persons in the US–nay, the environment–have watched the movie exactly where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, than in fact seen the Very best Photograph winner. It was Coda, by the way, if you might be curious. Ahead of I get into “ought to he or shouldn’t he have slapped another person,” you may possibly currently know I’ve been a massive supporter of Will for years. My business works with him and his company, and for a long time, I have mentioned he could be our upcoming President. I even now assume this is achievable–we are all human, right after all.  

If you haven’t observed the movie of the unwell-fated night time, let’s evaluate the essentials. The clear “set off” for the slap was a joke Chris Rock produced about Jada Pinkett Smith’s absence of hair. Jada is Will Smith’s wife, if you failed to know. She has a uncommon medical ailment regarded as alopecia and Chris in comparison her hair style to G.I. Jane (shoutout to Demi Moore!). Will responded by going for walks on stage and slapping Chris Rock in entrance of the complete theater and global audience. Right after the slap, he also shouted at Chris Rock and dropped two “F bombs.”  

That night, our staff Slack channel blew up. There are a ton of sights and values included in this form of scenario. There seriously is not a ideal or completely wrong response.

However, there are factors everyone can do when induced. It’s really hard to make the proper conclusion when you are less than tension, so I use a strategy I figured out from using a course with emotional intelligence expert, Dr. JP Pawliw-Fry, the bestselling writer of the reserve Overall performance Less than Force. You could have heard of this process. It’s called S.O.S, which stands for Cease, Oxygenate, and Search for Information.


When you are triggered, your to start with impulse is to act. Alternatively: halt. If anyone sends you an electronic mail that rubs you the improper way or says some thing you really feel is impolite in a meeting–never go with your very first impulse. 

When you’re in a demanding circumstance, you go through what is termed an amygdala highjack. The amygdala is the part of the brain that is anxious with our survival state of combat or flight. Fundamentally, for the up coming 18 minutes, though cortisol is flowing via your entire body, you will not likely be in a position to imagine rationally. 

In my class with Pawliw-Fry, I discovered people make two possibilities in tension scenarios. We either steer clear of or make a mess. Earning a mess is when Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on countrywide television. Or it could be when you write back again an angry electronic mail to your coworker, or your colleague yells at your manager at the corporation conference. 

So just before you make a mess, prevent. Really don’t send that angry e mail. Save it in your draft folder as a substitute. Really don’t yell again at your boss. Instead, inform folks you have to have to get a drink of water or use the restroom. Depart the triggering condition for a second–or 18 times, if you have the time. 

If Will Smith experienced practiced the SOS strategy, he could have walked out into the foyer to crystal clear his head.


The following matter you need to have to do in a triggering problem is to get some new air. Contemporary air dilutes the strain hormone cortisol, which is currently flowing as a result of your bloodstream and making it tough to believe straight. Acquire a couple deep breaths. Deep breaths are great for decreasing the effects of tension and also will help center you in the instant.

If Will Smith was following the system, he could have concentrated on his respiratory in the foyer, having a couple deep, slow breaths.

Find Details

Finally, in a triggering predicament, you want to seek details. Looking for info usually transpires just after 18 minutes–when you are tranquil and not sensation like it truly is a struggle or flight condition. I’ve found any time I have specified myself at minimum eighteen minutes or additional absent from a triggering circumstance, I will not conclude up sending a scathing e mail. I under no circumstances seem to be to occur back from receiving some new air and make a decision, certainly, slapping an individual in the face is the greatest doable thought.

Once time has handed, we’re ready to use our overall mind to review a scenario. What I acquired from my study course is in nerve-racking predicaments, we typically act on limited info. We instantly really feel threatened and don’t stop to question if an individual genuinely intended to threaten or irritate us.

Coming again to the Oscar evening incident with our pal, Will. As soon as he arrived back again from his time out in the lobby, he could have produced a several notes on his phone to fully grasp the context. Later, he could have reached out to Chris Rock to talk to if Chris wrote the joke. Immediately after all, numerous jokes at the Oscars are scripted by other comedy writers. Or, he could have requested Chris if he was mindful Jada experienced alopecia. It’s possible Chris would have described his facet of the situation and the two could have turn out to be improved friends. Or probably there was even a lot more likely on than achieved the eye. Either way, Will could have prevented building a mess, and handled the problem in different ways. He may possibly even now have slapped Chris, but privately as a substitute of publicly.

The fact is, we all get brought on. It can take follow to handle rough situations. We will not execute at our very best under worry. Even so, if you (or Will, if you’re looking through this) get anything at all from this report on the SOS approach, bear in mind to exercise the initial S. Cease. Hold out 18 minutes prior to you do everything. You may possibly cease on your own from losing a career, shopper, or close friend–or getting to apologize in the press to the total country. Just sayin’.

The viewpoints expressed right here by columnists are their own, not individuals of


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