It happens to the best of us. Someone, perhaps a friend or co-worker, is angry because of something you said or did and is about to let you have it.
It’s common to feel anxious and defensive when someone confronts you with anger and criticism.
It’s human nature to become immediately defensive when faced with confrontation.
On the other hand, when we become defensive, it’s often a sign that we’re not engaging enough in the things that we enjoy. This can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee or calling a good friend. Whatever it is, find the time each day.
Then it often becomes easier to transform a confrontation into collaboration and actually strengthen the relationship. Such opportunities are so often missed.
To seize the opportunity, get into the habit of routinely using these 5 simple tips:
1. Recognize an immediate urge to defend yourself. Take it as a sign to do more for yourself. Every day, do at least 1 thing that you enjoy.
2. Remain detached. Remember that what the other person feels is not about you but about them and respect that they have a right to their emotions. It’s not personal.
3. Listen to the emotion, not the words. By ignoring the words, you can hear the emotions of anger, frustration, or fear.
4. Name the emotion. For example, you might say “you’re frustrated, you’re angry, you’re disappointed.” Even if you’re wrong, your confronter will see that you’re trying to understand how he or she feels and will likely correct you. You can then empathize by putting yourself in their shoes.
5. Articulate the problem as your confronter would see it. For instance, “yes, you’re frustrated. I haven’t returned any of your calls and you feel like your problem isn’t important. I can assure you that it is, and I apologize for not making that clear to you.”
For more on this topic, check out my Blog at www.michelehartlaw.com.
Thanks for reading!