Staying calm in an argument
DO YOU SOMETIMES GET SO HOT UNDER THE COLLAR THAT YOU ACT IN ANGER? THE NEXT TIME YOU FEEL YOUR BLOOD STARTING TO BOIL IT MIGHT HELP TO DECOMPRESS WITH A LITTLE MIND CONTROL
Although it can be hard to see this at the time, a disagreement can sometimes be a helpful experience. Even uncomfortable arguments can help us grow and learn about ourselves.
‘Cultivate a kind and accepting attitude’
When you’re in the middle of an argument, being mindful is likely the last thing you’re thinking about. But it can be a valuable tool to create space between what you’re feeling and how you’re interacting with each other during a conflict. Here’s how to slow the situation... »
Check in with how you’re feeling. How do you relate to the person you’re talking to or the topic at hand: uneasy, frustrated, fearful, sad or angry?
» Pause and breathe – with breath as the focus of your attention, you can observe these sensations instead of reacting to them.
» Think about your intentions for the argument, and figure out what it is you’re trying to resolve. What is it you are arguing for or against? What outcome are you hoping for? Can you release the attachment to that?
» Be mindful to what the other person is feeling and experiencing; instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next, just absorb what they’re sharing with you.
» If emotions are running high, you can pause the argument by saying nothing. Take a slow, deep breath and return to your centre. Collect your thoughts and respond without escalating the situation. You may even like to voice your emotions out loud and say, “I am upset and I need a moment.”
Once you’ve calmed down, see if you accept the situation for what it is. Even if you still disagree with the other person, we’re always better off when we can be respectful and keep an open mind – it may help you find a peaceful resolution.