We have all witnessed a cringe-worthy moment in public: a heated exchange between a couple, an angry customer or friend or an upset child in the toy aisle. These moments can be embarrassing, or even devastating to relationships, causing a ripple effect in the families involved. Unfortunately, some do not have the skills to avoid moments like this.
In the heat of the moment, we have all said something that we wish we could take back. Unfortunately, some of those heated moments we relive for years to come. In a heated argument, self-regulation is your first line of defense. When we do not have the skills to moderate our own responses in intense situations, we will not have the desired outcomes in our relationships.
Think, for a moment, of a conversation you were a part of a conversation that had an unfortunate outcome. How could you have avoided that argument? This article will equip you will skills to navigate difficult conversations and de-escalate heated arguments.
From the first time a child throws a tantrum, we learn how to communicate. From as our early childhood, for better or worse, we develop methods to get what we want. For some of us, we may need to un-learn some bad habits in order to develop self-regulation. This process of becoming self-aware may require some effort, but it starts with evaluating how you react to adverse situations.
Mindfulness is the act of self-discovery. This is learning to see the outcome of your words and actions. While this may come more naturally than others, everyone is capable of developing this trait. An example of mindfuless is that you know that you are about to say something that will hurt someone, this is mindfulness. Mindfulness can be developed by practicing gratitude and consideration of others. With a world that is seemingly passing us by, it can be challenging for some to practice mindfulness, but it can be a very fulfilling and calming practice. Mindfulness has been proven to improve one’s attention and regulate negative emotions that can present themselves when we are not considering others.
Acknowledging Your Actions
The next part of regulating one’s self is acknowledging one’s actions. This is where the rubber meets the road. It is the moment that can turn the conversation away or make the issue worse. Developing the skill of acknowledgment is, by and large, the most important part of self-regulation. Acknowledgement is the turning point in many arguments. By making an effort to turn a conversation away from the argument, you are learning to regulate and not allowing the circumstance to define your reaction.
You are now aware of your actions, and instead of creating further strife in an argument, you are choosing to de-escalate the situation. This behavior is a highly sought after trait in the world. Those who choose to regulate their emotions, not allowing themselves to be succumbed to a heated argument or an accident, are not only stronger leaders but will live more fulfilled lives.