In my last blog post I covered strategies for handling the pressure of an interpersonal conflict by controlling your own physical reactions to feeling attacked. What I was proposing was negotiating with your “reptilian brain” or that adrenalin rush that prompts you to fight or flee. Once you have your reptilian brain under control you can have a more reasoned conversation. Here are your next steps.
- Ask for a few minutes to settle down if the person insists on having the confrontation in the moment.
- Avoid discussing your feelings and focus on the issues being raised and what can be done about them.
- Set a goal for the conversation and make it one that is not about changing behavior.
- Limit your conversation to one or at most two points.
- Lower your expectations. Conversations that are spawned by anger are rarely the most productive.