The Sundown Rule

Does anybody ever tick you off? Ha ha, I didn’t think so. Well, it’s happened to me. Sometimes people can get under my skin, and maybe it’s happened to you as well. However, here’s what I know for sure. If I don’t deal with that before sundown, I know that throughout the evening I will make it into a bigger thing than it actually is.

In fact, I will catastrophize it to the point that I can make that person bad and wrong. When in fact, they’re not bad or wrong, they just did something that somehow impacted me—maybe they didn’t even know they did it, or maybe they couldn’t do something differently. But here’s what happens—as the sun goes down, resentment goes up.

When resentment goes up, our ability to sanely address it goes down. So, I believe in the sundown rule. Every day, before you go home, make sure you’ve cleaned up anything with anyone where you’ve gone sideways with them. It’s your responsibility, not theirs.

If you’re feeling out of sorts with someone and in some way like they weren’t respecting you or they didn’t do something the way they should have, simply communicate this without blame. Ask them for what you need. Tell them that when they did that, the result was this and ask for something different. Ask for a commitment to that.

It’s a clean way to make a request and it allows you to build rapport, keep the relationship clean, and be a leader in making sure that you have a great culture everywhere around you.

Leave a Reply