Here’s something we all need to remember this week: How to keep your cool when conversations get heated.
Tensions are high, and in the coming days, we can only expect them to rise even higher. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your peace – no matter how heated a situation may get.
Many people all around the country are going into this week filled with stress, frustration, passion and intensity. That doesn’t mean you have to, too.
In fact, it’s possible to be just as passionate and firm in your beliefs without contributing to the conflict and tension – or worse – getting caught up in a heated conversation that triggers you to lose your cool.
That’s why, this week, I wanted to talk about a few tools to keep your cool when conversations get ultra heated.
Identify Your Goal
Before we dive into the specific tools that help me keep my cool in heated situations, I wanted to take a second to set the foundation for a peaceful and productive mindset. Let’s clarify our goals here.
Yes, you want to go into this week with a clear mind – but also a prepared mind. Don’t be naive and think that you’re going to change others’ viewpoints by having a battle of opinions at this point in the game. That’s where people get into trouble.
Instead, settle for a new goal: to walk away with your peace still intact. How do you do that? It’s the difference between talking WITH someone and talking AT someone. The difference is subtle, but it’s also drastic in the best possible way.
So let’s dive in.
How To Keep Your Cool When Conversations Get Heated
1. Check your ego
First thing’s first. If you want others to engage with you in a positive, meaningful way, then you need to make sure that’s how YOU are engaging with others. So the first step is to check your own ego. What are your ego triggers? Know them, so you can be prepared to stay calm if someone brings them up.
Oftentimes, we want to offer our opinions in a forceful way. But if we can take the ego out of our conversations, then we can focus on what the productive action might be. What positive results can come from this?
Sometimes it’s simply to respectfully end the conversation and move on. Other times, it might be to acknowledge another person’s experience or viewpoint. Still other times, the productive action might just be to keep the relationship intact by agreeing to disagree.
Decide what you want the outcome to be, and make sure your ego gets the memo.
2. Remove the emotion
This is usually the trickiest part. But if you want to focus on the outcome – instead of the ego – you need to remove the emotion from heated conversations. You need to stop making it personal.
People spend a lot of time being offended by the words of another person, oftentimes a complete stranger, because they make it personal. Look at it as the sharing of information. Or if you can’t do that, consider the fact that everyone has a right to their own opinion. So if you disagree with another person’s opinion, detach from your emotional response and see it for what it is: someone’s right.
In fact, their opinion has nothing to do with you! So instead, focus on your goal. Protect your peace by remembering this has nothing to do with you, and that’s ok.
3. Count to 5
If you’re having trouble with the first couple steps, I completely understand. The more deeply you’ve been affected by certain issues, the more difficult it is to reign in the emotion. Other times, people MAKE it personal. So you’ll need a trick in your back pocket that will help you maintain your peace no matter what.
I like to use a simple trick I learned from Mel Robbins. If you start to feel those signs of frustration – fast breathing, clenched jaw, rigid muscles, hot face – then counter those body reactions with this simple technique.
Slowly count to five before you respond. You can close your eyes or add deep breathing if that helps. But that’s it! Sometimes we get so wrapped up in complex solutions, but for this, all you need to do is stay in your own peace. And the best way to do that is to stop and FEEL it for a moment to remember it’s always there.
Once you’ve taken a moment to remember your goal and calm your body, take a moment to re-evaluate the situation from a place of clarity. If you are in a place where you can calmly continue with the conversation, then consider the person’s statement. Does it hold any truth for you? Does it resonate with you in a meaningful way?
If it does contribute to your understanding of the world, then great! You’ve handled the situation well. If it doesn’t hold truth for you, then respectfully acknowledge the other person’s right to their opinion and move on. Need help? Try this statement: I see things differently; however, I appreciate you sharing your viewpoint – and I respect and honor the fact that you see things differently, too.
5. Protect your peace
If you were able to handle the conversation in a way that made you proud, then congratulations! That’s an incredible victory!
Sometimes, however, you leave with your dignity, but your heart has been hurt by the conversation. Their words linger in your mind. You can’t shake their negativity. And you start to question yourself. That’s when you need to take one last step and process the conversation privately.
To release that negative energy, you have to stop their words from taking on meaning in your own life. Remember, their opinion has nothing to do with you, so don’t let their words take on meaning in your life. Don’t let someone else’s definition of you or the world be the final word. You are absolutely the author of your own thoughts and actions.
That’s your superpower – and it’s your power to keep.
If you know you’re going to come up against some difficult conversations, listen more and learn EVEN more. Build up your own internal resources through the practice of identifying your own boundaries. Then stay within your peace to protect those boundaries. When you’re clear about yourself, then you can lead by example, rise above triggers and make a difference with your ACTIONS. Then you hold all the power, my friend.
Share With Us!
How do you keep your cool when conversations get heated? What tricks help you protect your peace?
Share with us! We would love to know!
Your story is so important.
If you’re looking for guided, step-by-step help to put these exact strategies into practice, check out my Global MEDIA Membership. It has all the in-depth knowledge and step-by-step instruction you need to get from basic blogger to global media mogul.
In fact, I believe in it so much that we’ll walk you through this formula for a $1 trial.