Studies show that those with high emotional intelligence, are good at regulating their own emotions, as well as helping others regulate theirs in heated interactions, so that things keep calm.
Resolving conflict shows a form of selflessness, because heated situations cannot end if both parties are self-serving.
Those who are able to regulate their feelings better, should also take responsibility for keeping situations calm – because they have the ability to do so. In general, remember these points:
- Some people have short fuses. Allow them to have their explosion if they must, but make it your responsibility to keep calm, because you have the ability to do so while they don’t.
- People who have low emotional intelligence will not be able to regulate their own emotions or handle heated conversations with wisdom. If you know you have the ability to “see” more deeply into things than what the other does, take responsibility for getting to a good resolution.
- People who get defensive fast are often calmed down when the other person shows respect and care for what they are saying.
Your first goal should be to cool any anger you may be feeling – because even if you’re emotionally intelligent, you’re still human – and take stock of the situation. Remove yourself for a moment.
Either take a walk somewhere, or while in the situation, divert your attention to something other than what’s happening. Try gazing at the patterns in a painting on the wall. Focus on your feet, or concentrate on the dots on someone’s tie. Once the anger subsides a little, think about the outcome of the situation, or what it should be, so that harmony can be maintained.
Harvard Business Review says, “Knowing that you might not care about the argument as much in the future will help you temper what you say and do today.
It can help to think about a 3rd party – if you were a Christian for instance, you could ask yourself, “what would Jesus do in this situation?”, but if you are not, you could try bringing to mind any person you respect, and asking yourself the same question.
The best way to avoid an unpleasant and useless escalation, is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, especially if they are not able to put themselves in yours.
Instead, allow the other person to talk. Keep calm with the intention of hearing, and not with the intention to speak. This helps you to listen with empathy. Now listening with empathy does not mean you need to give in to what the other person is saying, instead it means listening because you care about hearing what they have to say.
Provide verbal acknowledgement and show care. Saying things like, “that sounds painful” makes the other know you are hearing them.
Only once you understand their viewpoint and what’s made them get to it, will you know if you need to take responsibility and apologise.
And if you’re not the issue, sometimes all it takes to end a heated situation is allowing the other person to vent.
Focus On The End Goal
Many a marriage has ended in divorce out of stupidity, simply because the couple fail to communicate effectively. If you’re faced with dissension with your spouse, always keep in mind that you love him or her and that the end goal of arguing amongst yourselves, is to reach a solution. This way, when you start losing your cool, take a breather and focus on the end goal, not the moment.
Because a moment can kill a relationship, and that is not what you want, just so that your ego is satisfied.
- Keep perspective by removing yourself from the fire.
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes so that you can see their view.
- Focus on resolving the conflict instead of “losing it” and achieving nothing.