Calm an Emotionally Charged Situation


Life is such in which people are often triggered negatively in conflicting situations.  Depending on both the individual and the situation, a person may produce various emotions from frustration and anxiety to stress and hostility.  Furthermore, negativity only produces negativity.  Thus, proper communication is critical towards diffusing difficult situations (and in some cases could have helped prevent the incident from happening in the first place!)

Communication is important in all situation but can be the tipping point for difficult ones.  When tempers are rising, individuals will often speak without thinking and say things they may not really mean.  In fact, we have all experienced situations in which we become angry, frustrated, and tense.  Thus, not only must you handle the other person with care, you must be aware of your own responses.

A person’s response when dealing with a frustrating situation significantly impacts how the other person will react.  An important part of a person’s response is his or her tone of voice.  For example, a calm and low voice is perceived as non-combative.  Thus, by remaining calm a situation is not likely to escalate.  Are you likely to react differently if someone was yelling at you?  Most people would say yes. 

Also, avoiding negative body language or speaking over the other person will prevent a situation from escalating.  Especially if the situation involves more than one other person, allowing each person to voice their opinion reduces the chance of misunderstandings.  Although, we cannot avoid difficult situations from happening, our approach will determine the likely outcome.  Thus, difficult situations do not need to cause further stress than what is necessary.  Don’t we have enough stress in our lives??

When you are dealing with a difficult or stressful situation, what techniques do you use to diffuse it?

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