We raise our voice, stamp our foot and clench our fist – all signs of power that we rob our opponent from. How do we manage a conversation without feeding into this destructive pattern?
- We quietly listen, without interrupting our counterpart.
- We ask ‘how’ and ‘what’ questions – what do you think we should do next? How would you act if you were me?
- We treat the other person the way we would like them to treat us: with calm, respect and consideration
This is not as easy as 1, 2, 3 but I know that whenever I don’t give into the other person’s rage fit I feel better about myself. I might still not feel 100% ponies on the field tea party but I feel better than the times when I try to match anger with anger.
As a long term strategy, simply avoiding people who put all their emotions into an anger pot works better than managing constant friction. Choose your daily interactions carefully, every person we meet shapes our behavior and, to a certain degree, our identity.