We all have those heated confrontations, discussions or arguments which have the potential to escalate into a blood bath of note! Fighting is never pleasant and always destroys solid friendships.
But here’s the ultimate truth about fighting and arguing – they are ALWAYS avoidable. Yes, it is possible that you may never have another heated argument in your life; it all however depends on you.
When we engage in heated confrontation we either fight (retaliate, react and push back), flight (run, escape, back down) or freeze (completely shut down and become inactive and non-responsive).
In researching this topic I discovered a quick, yet thorough read which helped me understand the “heated moment” a little better – here’s how to keep cool and save relationships:
1. Find out what provokes you.
Ask yourself: When do I feel the hottest anger? When do I just want to be alone? When do I feel paralyzed to respond? Once you know and understand what primes your stress response, you’ll have an easier time stopping yourself from reacting impulsively.
2. Catch the impulse that precedes your response.
There is always an impulse––a sensation that rises up through your body––that precedes any reaction. Mindfulness can help you identify the clues that alert you to your coming anger—rapid heartbeat, feeling hot, raising your voice, clenching your jaw, irritability, or a monotone voice. When you can pick up on these warning signs, you can give yourself time to make a deliberate choice. In that moment, you are practicing anger management.
3. Control the impulse.
The goal is to stay in your body and stay in the present. If you’re quick to fight, give yourself a time-out: Close your eyes. Take slow, deep breaths. Repeat to yourself something that reminds you it’s OK to sit with your emotions, like, What I’m experiencing is anger. Anger is natural. Feeling anger won’t hurt me. If you’re quick to flee or freeze, ground yourself in the moment: Literally wrap your arms around yourself and hug your body tightly or grip your toes to the floor. And keep your eyes open. Whichever method helps you, give it time to let it work: Count to 10, 20, 30, whatever you need.
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Credit: Edited // psychology today