While some people seem to have a knack for helping others “back off the edge,” most people feel at least a little bit nervous or apprehensive about these situations.
We have to learn that having pre-planned strategies often can helps to keep my cool and to manage the situation more calmly.
Here are three pre-planned strategies you can use to navigate tense, angry conversations more skillfully…
Shift to the Future
When emotions get elevated, it is tempting to engage in long conversations about what the other person said or did or to explain what you said or did. Resist that urge. A little deviation towards what has already happened might help to set the context for future conversation, and diving deeply into a discussion about the past tends to…
Relieve the pressure
People have a strong need to be heard and understood. As a result, when they get a chance to say what they are thinking or feeling, they often feel less threatened. When you can help a person to feel less threatened, their anger will tend to ease.
Acknowledge the perspective
People have a strong need to be heard and understood. When you show that you understand how or what they think or feel, you help them to lower their anger level. Here’s an important point: You do NOT have to agree with them. You only need to show that you hear an understand them.
None of these strategies is perfect. They have their limitations and liabilities. There are situations where they will work beautifully, and there are situations where they will be disastrous. It’s possible that a tactic will work in one situation with a person and wreak havoc on a different day in a different situation with the same person.