Pause

Pausing gives you time to stop and think before you act. Doing so can prevent you from doing things you'll later regret.

If you feel your emotions getting out of control, take a pause. If possible, go for a short walk. Once you calm down, return and decide how to move forward. 

@jenna94

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Self Improvement

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

We tend to respond to people using the same tone they use to speak to us.

If you need to have an emotionally charged conversation, speak in a way that's calm and collected. And if a discussion begins to escalate, focus on softening your tone or lowering your voice; others are likely to mimic you.

Sharing your opinion when others are aggravated can be counterproductive. If things get emotional, and you can’t leave, you may need to stop talking and let them express their feelings.

Breathe deeply and remember that moods are temporary. And that their words at this point may be extreme or exaggerated; resist the urge to respond in kind. Often, once they let everything out, they'll calm down. 

Recording means concentrated listening, with the intent to learn more about another's perspective. You're not trying to figure out how to reply; instead, you're listening to understand.

As you tune into another, don't judge or offer advice. Instead, focus on learning more about how the other person sees you, how they see themselves, and how they see the situation.

Emotionally charged discussions are often rooted in deep-seated issues that will continue springing up if left alone. Carefully think about where, when, and how to reintroduce the subject, and do it once everyone's had the chance to cool down.

Opening with an apology, an expression of thanks, or by acknowledging where you and your communication partner agree may lead the other person to lower their guard and become more open to whatever you have to say.

Forget about how you feel in the moment. Pause, step back and think of the short-term and long-term consequences of your actions.

Doing so can help you think clearly, see the big picture, and make better decisions.

Slowing down to analyze your negative emotions can help you figure out the underlying reasons behind your feelings and lead you to potential solutions.

Ask yourself why you feel a certain way and what you need to change it. This can give you control of your feelings instead of leaving them in control of you.

2. Mind Your Tone

We tend to respond to people using the same tone they use to speak to us.

If you need to have an emotionally charged conversation, speak in a way that's calm and collected. And if a discussion begins to escalate, focus on softening your tone or lowering your voice, others are likely to mimic you.

3. Mute

Sharing your opinion when others are aggravated can be counterproductive. If things get emotional, and you can’t leave, you may need to stop talking and let them express their feelings.

Breathe deeply and remember that moods are temporary. And that their words at this point may be extreme or exaggerated; resist the urge to respond in kind. Often, once they let everything out, they'll calm down. 

4. Record

Recording is concentrated listening, with the intent to learn more about another's perspective. You're not trying to figure out how to reply; instead, you're listening to understand.

As you tune into another, don't judge or offer advice. Instead, focus on learning more about how the other person sees you, how they see themselves, and how they see the situation.

5. Examine The Issue

Emotionally charged discussions are often rooted in deep-seated issues that will continue springing up if left alone. Carefully think about where, when, and how to reintroduce the subject, and do it once everyone's had the chance to cool down.

Opening with an apology, an expression of thanks, or by acknowledging where you and your communication partner agree may lead the other person to lower their guard and become more open to whatever you have to say.

6. Think Of The Consequences

Forget about how you feel in the moment. Pause, step back and think of the short-term and long-term consequences of your actions.

Doing so can help you think clearly, see the big picture, and make better decisions.

7. Slow Down

Slowing down to analyze your negative emotions can help you figure out the underlying reasons behind your feelings and lead you to potential solutions.

Ask yourself why you feel a certain way and what you need to change it can give you control of your feelings instead of leaving them in control of you.

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RELATED IDEAS

  • The pause button. Create a habit of thoughtful action. Train yourself to take a moment to stop and think before you act or speak.
  • Volume control. Train yourself to recognise when your volume is starting to go up.
  • The tuning dial. As you'd change the film or change the channel, instead of focusing on what you're going to say next, tune in to the other person and listen carefully with the goal to truly understand them.
  • Mute. Hit the mute button if the other person is in a highly emotional state because sharing your point of view won't help at that moment.
  • Record. As you stay on mute, focus on mentally recording key points they're willing to share to help you learn more about their perspective.
  • Playback. Emotionally charged discussions are often rooted in deep-seated issues. Revisit the topic once both parties have had the time to cool down.
  • Fast forward. Think about the effects your actions will have in the long run.

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IDEAS

A Zen Parable
There was a man riding on a horse. When a man walking on the road asks him where he is going, the rider replies, “Why are you asking me? You should ask the horse.”

The horse represents our emotional lives. We let the 'horse' take us to where it wants it to take us, especially if we feel afraid, nervous, etc. But little did we know that we have control. You begin to have influence on your horse once you master your emotions.

  • Responders to perceived reality. They aren’t the reality.
  • Responses to our imagination.
  • Confirmation: Always confirm imagination and perception by investigating reality.
  • Admiration: People admire and respect leaders who control their feelings. Additionally, others feel it’s safe to trust us when we’re stable and predictable.

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