If you have ever been in a situation where you feel frustrated, one of two things happen. You either react negatively or you don't. In the former, impulses control responses instead of rational thinking. As a result, you might do or say something you regret. Permanent damage to the dynamic in your friendships, relationships, or workplace occur when emotions take the front seat. Unfortunately, there may be no way earn trust back when confrontations cross the line into disrespect. You know damage is done when no one wants to speak to you. This is a good time to reflect on what went wrong. The best thing you can do is learn to control your future behavior when feeling provoked. That seems much easier said than done! Believe it or not, there are several ways to prevent your emotions from becoming unmanageable and destructive.
Choose To Say Nothing
It is much more effective to remain silent when people do things that upset you. As you feel your emotions coming to a precipice where verbal inhibition seems impossible, take a moment to breathe. This provides you with the power to assess the current threat and think about your subsequent reaction. Rather than always being on the defense, you can choose words that create a safe space for feelings to be heard. You can phrase a sentence with, "I understand your position and I am upset because____." And followed by "I would like to discuss how we can communicate differently in order to prevent future disagreements between us." This is an effective structure for resolving internal conflict because your your thoughts are expressed and received in a calm manner. The benefit to this is being able to speak with a greater likelihood of your thoughts being heard, not deflected because of the hostility you may have created. Alternatively, if you are not able to speak in moments of anger, walk away for a few minutes to cool down, then do your best to have a productive exchange.
Identify Your Emotional Triggers
It is crucial to have an accurate understanding of what makes you tick when entering a heated discussion. Emotional triggers can literally be anything. For example, you might be offset by an individual's tone of voice, language that expresses superiority, or someone not listening when you speak. It is okay if you fail to recognize those disruptions to your emotional system so that you take the time to reflect upon past conflicts. You will eventually learn to gauge your responses leading up to confrontations. Overall, recognizing your emotional triggers gives you back control of outcome.
Consider The Impact Of Your Behavior
Believe it or not, there are things that you do to create tension or initiate an argument. It could be that you talk about your own feelings but do not listen to what others have to say. You might have bad habits at work that every one finds annoying. Even if you are unaware of this, it is important to realize that the way you behave might be the reason arguments occur in the first place. Conflicts can be avoided if you are cognizant of the impact of your actions on others, more importantly, proper and consistent communication about expectations others have from you.
Timing is Everything!
Remember, there is a time and place for conflict resolution. Outbursts are not always welcome. Just because you have something to say, it doesn't mean that others are open or ready to hear it. Choosing to express yourself at an inappropriate time may result in greater disruptions to relationships. It is better you set a time and date to speak with someone about a particular issue. This allows for a reciprocal exchange of words between both parties whereby listening and ongoing suggestions can be digested.
You will no longer be powerless to your own emotions in any given situation if you become aware you are of the your triggers, the effect of your behavior on others, and the time and place at which you choose to speak. Most importantly, realize that you have the ability to remain unreactive in the face of conflict.