In Between Fight and Flight: After you SLOW DOWN the Argument

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.

  1. Ask for a few minutes to settle down if the person insists on having the confrontation in the moment.
  2. Avoid discussing your feelings and focus on the issues being raised and what can be done about them.
  3. Set a goal for the conversation and make it one that is not about changing behavior.
  4. Limit your conversation to one or at most two points.
  5. Lower your expectations. Conversations that are spawned by anger are rarely the most productive.