How Human Brains are Wired
A very upset person is in an altered mental state. Strong emotion literally overwhelms the rational centers of the brain. As a result, being logical with a fired-up person doesn’t work well. Their brain is in an emotional fog. Read on for proven techniques to help clear the fog and move ahead productively.
Talking to the Fired-Up
Don’t Get Triggered
Humans are wired to protect and defend. The impulse to defend is automatic. A hot person fires-up the emotional centers in your brain. It’s very easy to get triggered and find yourself battling your own emotional fog. The crucial first step is to accept the person’s emotion and not react instinctively.
Strong emotion clouds reason until it is released. Dealing with the emotion clears the emotional fog that blocks productive communication. After adopting an attitude of empathy, keep going with the power of Reflective Listening. A key step of Reflective Listening is to fully acknowledge the person’s concerns with genuine care. Download the full step-by-step details
Connect with One @ 100%
Once you’ve fully reflected and acknowledged the concerns, further reduce the emotion by connecting with their viewpoint. Find one thing you can agree with, then agree 100% with conviction.
Even if the facts are wrong, you can likely agree that the situation is very upsetting, from the person’s point of view. The emotion will calm down further, if you approach the individual with agreement. You become a partner, rather than an opponent.
After the Emotional Storm
Only after you’ve fully acknowledged the concerns and connected with agreement, attempt a shift to problem-solving. You’ll recognize the opportunity when the person shows less intensity.
The process of venting emotion and having someone acknowledge concerns, is very calming. You’ll notice it in the body language or tone.
It may take some time, before the emotion is sufficiently vented. When people are really fired-up, they may not be able to calm down immediately. Keep up the empathic concern and reflective listening.
The Key to Success
Underlying these techniques is the continual focus on step one, don’t get triggered. Emotional contagion is a real thing. It takes great mental discipline to stay genuinely empathic, when someone keeps coming at you hot. Holding on to empathy will help you and the fired-up person get past the negative emotion and move toward productive collaboration.
If the emotional storm is persistent, you may need to deploy the two additional techniques. Download the full step-by-step details
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