(Good Things Utah) We have all had those tough times with teenagers, spouses, family members or in-laws that we maybe wish we could take back. Realizing after the explosive argument that it was just a bad mood and we could have avoided the whole situation if we would have either turned away or handled our own response differently.
Heather Frazier joined Nicea and Deena today to help and give viewers a quick trick to de-escalate any conversation.
It is human nature to emotionally match our environment – if everyone is talking and worried about an election, pandemic, or school board decision, we tend to match that emotional momentum. Sometimes this is good and sometimes it isn’t helpful. Our awareness of what is happening, so that we can be intentional, is key.
Lets say your spouse is really angry because of something that happened at work. They come home and start complaining about something at home, like your kid leaving a mess in the kitchen – it’s easy to jump on the grumpy train and also begin complaining about the mess, or snapping back that they need to chill out – and then you become grumpy right back at them in defense of your kid.
We don’t like being grumpy, and we wish they weren’t grumpy, but now we’ve just doubled down on the grumpy.
We can also experience the opposite. We’ve had a hard day, but look forward to hanging out with friends or family later because they are always cheerful and lift our moods.
When we see what is going on, then we have the power to choose intentionally. This is best managed when we embrace that it’s okay for people to have all the feelings. It isn’t a problem for us to fix or be upset about. Husbands can be grumpy, teens can be ornery, our neighbors can be catty, and we can feel however we want.
Once we understand this, we can hold a calm, positive emotional presence that invites the grumpy person to choose something different. By showing love, empathy, curiosity, and acceptance, they may choose to adapt their demeanor. They might just loosen their grip on being upset when we can stay calm.
This helps the situation not to escalate, because when we match their upset with our own, they’re like, “oh, yeah!?? I’ll raise you one!” and get more upset. Then we do the same, and before you know it there is yelling about something super trivial.
If you would like to learn more from Heather Frazier, Tune into Good Things Utah for Mindful Monday or you can visit her website.