In today’s blog, I’d like to share with you some strategies to help deal with frustrating situations by making conscious choices to deescalate situations instead of increasing conflict.
Starting your day with positivity, but obstacles arise.
Scenario for a Good Day:
You wake-up to the sun shining with a brisk fall chill in the air. After taking a refreshing shower, you dress for work to begin your day. You enjoy a delicious and nourishing breakfast. You exchange a parting farewell to your loved ones prior to getting in your car to drive-off to work. As you listen to the radio in the car, you sing along to your favorite songs feeling energetic and happy.
Conflicts & Initial Reactions:
- You are waiting for a parking spot, and as soon as you begin to enter the spot someone else quickly takes it! You feel angry and want to express your feelings.
- When you enter your office and energetically say “Good Morning,” you do not receive the same energetic response in return. This makes you feel unenthusiastic and disconnected from your coworkers.
- During a basketball game, the Head Coach questions your integrity on every play. This makes you feel angry. You do not feel like playing anymore and want to quit the game.
Strategies for reacting to negative situations
Everyone has their ups and downs throughout life. Embrace the good times and help prevent escalating challenges that cause the lows of each day.
- Time-out. Try to stop yourself from immediately reacting.
- You might accidentally say something that you will later regret.
- Take a few deep breaths, clear your mind, and think about a constructive way to verbalize your feelings so others understand your viewpoint. However, communicate in a manner that will reduce discourse and increase mutual understanding.
- Objectivity. Ask yourself why this situation occurred to try to identify the root cause.
- Set your boundaries and communicate them in a consistent manner.
- Reflect on the overall situation and the role you played.
- How could these circumstances have been changed to avoid the conflict that occurred?
- Self-reflection. What was your contribution towards the conflict?
- We always want to point the finger at someone else, but first evaluate how your your words and actions contributed to the outcome.
- Instead of blaming someone else, take a minute to self-reflect.
- Take responsibility for any of your contributions towards the situation.
- Empathy. Be empathetic towards others.
- You never know what is happening in the lives of others that is causing them to behave in a certain way.
- Showing empathy towards others can help create understanding and provides an opportunity for the other person to verbalize challenges that are contributing to their untoward behaviors.
- Don’t dwell on negativity. Move-forward with your day with a clear mind & positive thoughts.
- Once you deal with the negative situation, continue the rest of the day with optimism and positivity.
Be a role model for your children by modeling how to use these strategies to increase opportunities for effective communication by reducing the escalation of conflicts.
Live-up to your principles & morals by behaving in a manner that is conducive to upholding these values regardless of the challenging situations that arise throughout life’s journey.