smoking at window

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Walk Away When You Catch Him Red-Handed
...For five minutes. Because sure, you want to pounce on him when you catch him in a jerky act—smoking a cigarette out the window? taking a catnap while your toddler plays video games on his cell phone?—but hold off. And not just to calm yourself down, either, though that's a helpful side effect. Experiments by Harvard researchers, writes Epley, demonstrated that when questioned immediately post-bust, people tended to lie due to their dread of punishment. A short break seems to alleviate that fear enough that they go ahead and admit the ugly truth. Which, as we know from our own slipups, is the first step to apologizing—and figuring out how to avoid the inadvisable act next time.