Do you know this guy? Not by name, but by look. You do. That’s you, on angry. That’s what you look like when you’re mad, angry, yelling, and letting it all go. Pretty scary, right? Anger isn’t pretty or productive when it’s expressed in ways that affront and insult, or are careless, invalidating, belittling, or frightening. It feels awful to be angry and in anger too, so all around, not a good place.
Let’s face it…We’re human. We get angry and it’s normal. It’s healthy to feel anger and be angry. But it’s not ok to do angry. Anger in confrontational form is Bullying, and yes, women are just as guilty as men. Women bully too. When you’re confrontational and raising you’re voice, you’re not just not nice, you’re bullying. Doing anything at. someone that puts them on guard is a form of bullying. Those words are hast to hear, aren’t they? But it’s true. It’s not Physical, but it’s there as a passive-aggressive form of bullying. Especially so, when the other person feels nervous, scared, emotionally attacked, and when they feel their adrenalin go into high gear. You know, that nervous feeling. That’s your sympathetic nervous system getting for survival, going into flight-or-flight mode. Not nice. Not pretty. Not productive, validating, in acknowledgement of the other person’s feelings, or respectful. Now, you’re probably thinking…
How could I possibly be respectful and not go into defence mode and yell and get angry back when I’m being attacked?
This, is a choice, just like deciding in that quick second that yore not going to be calm. Instead , yore going all full-out. It’s a choice to maintain your wits and be calm, and it comes with much practice. We are the only ones that can control our emotions, thoughts and actions. If we allow our emotions get the better of us, that’ your choice, where you’ve chosen to relinquish self-control and go for the gusto.
Why do we do this? To be dramatic. Because the ego loves drama. But what the ego doesn’t know, is that there are outcomes and consequences to our behaviours. There is always more than one choice. There are smarter, more efficient, and effective ones. Now, you may be thinking…
I’m not going to just stand there and take it! Why should I? I’m yelling back. I don’t deserve that.
No, you don’t. What we forget when we’re in confrontation is that the person loosing their temper is the one off the hook, loosing their cool, and letting go of all the power. The one with all the power, and the ability to bring it all together, lead by example, and have a positive effect and influence, and a positive outcome, is the other person. In this scenario, you want this person to be you.
Reacting is a choice. But so is Responding. What the other person actually wants is to be understood and heard. They’re subconsciously begging you to bring them down. You can do that by keeping your wits about you, and by supporting and guiding them with your lead, out of the “dark, angry side.” We’re not wired to seek out or like feelings of anger. We’re wired to seek out feelings of happiness and feel-good.
Nothing good ever begins with negative, and once there, getting through it may be uncomfortable and time consuming.
The next time you go to react, think of this read, think of me, (my picture’s up there), keep calm, take in a long, relaxing breath, try to breathe normally, and do these 3 things…
*ACKNOWLEDGE- Let the other person know that you can see they’re upset and angry. Buy-in. They want you to “get” them, on an emotional level. Remember to keep your cool and be calm, like when you’re talking to a small child. You’re being called upon to be a facilitator here, even if it is about you. You want to show care and empathy, and you should want to know, because you don’t want the other person feeling awful or feeling ill-will toward you–that stuff just festers and becomes toxic.
*VALIDATE- Show caring, kindness, and respect by telling them you can see they’re angry, and you’d like to know why. The issue may be about you, maybe not. Often, men and women just need to vent. Maybe it’s about something that happened to them, or about how they’re feeling. That may not even about you, so don’t let your ego out and assume it’s about you. Hear them. Listen. Keep calm. You’re not going toReact. Your job is to Respond. If it is about you, keep that ego under wraps and hear what the other person has to say. The goal is not only to solve the problem or situation, but to ensure that the other person feels resolve, not to escalate it or brush it under the carpet.
*COMMUNICATE- This is where you get to strut your stuff and show, by leading by example and setting the tone, how mature, kind and caring you are, and have a conversation. You each will have the floor, taking turns, and the conversation will be spattered with reciprocity of acknowledgement and validation, like “I understand, I hear you, and I get it.” Resolution is found here, and then, the piece-de-resistance, the feeling of accomplishment and relief that you got through this, without anger or yelling, and can feel good towards one another.
Misery, loneliness, upset, anger…diverted, because all you did was keep calm, respond in kind, listen, communicate and converse, and resolve.