How to deal with a potentially confrontational situation

confrontational situationsWe’ve all experienced confrontational situations. Whether it’s in our personal or professional lives, it’s never easy or nice. There will be times when you know in advance of such events, such as work meetings and family gatherings, meaning you can better prepare yourself, but this, unfortunately, isn’t always the case.

So how can you positively deal with a potentially confrontational situation – both before and during the event – without it leaving you upset and emotionally drained?

This was the question recently posted in our WOBS Online Facebook group by one of members – and here is a summary of all the advice posted in response.

What are you putting out there?

The most important thing is to stay calm emotionally and/or professionally. It’s important to also watch what you’re putting out there, for example, what is making you pre-empt the situation as confrontational? Don’t let your mind get carried away, based on old experiences and look at the isolated facts for this specific situation.

Get grounded and protect yourself and your energy

Ground yourself – carry out some grounding breathing before and during the situation. Carry out some stretches beforehand, to help you stand tall and to eliminate the need to haunch or slouch when in the situation.

Psychologically move your vulnerable inner child into a safe room. Imagine her being happy there, playing with her toys and colouring books. Let the adult you deal with it, in a calm, articulate, emotionally balanced, resilient way and see the inner child in each of the people you are dealing with

Use EFT and NLP techniques to anchor a better state

Use EFT tapping and NLP anchoring to put yourself in a better state. This is useful to anchor yourself into a more resourceful state, one where you feel on top of the world and invincible. In this circle is an image of you in a specific state (i.e. feeling and behaving in a certain way):

  • Imagine a circle on the floor. Make it large enough for you to step into.
  • Remember times when you felt invincible, powerful, composed and creative.
  • As you remember these times, step into the circle and be in that moment, as the powerful, composed and creative you. See it, feel it, be it.
  • Ramp up those feelings and emotions. Stand tall, breathe it in and increase the colour and sound in your imagery, as you remember those moments.
  • Anchor that feeling to a natural gesture, such as smoothing your hair or stretching out your hand.
  • Now step out of the circle and shake off the feeling. Go back to your original neutral state. Think of something mundane to calm yourself.
  • Repeat steps 2 – 6 a couple of times.
  • Now test it. Think of a time you felt powerless, unresourceful and uncertain.
  • Step into the circle and activate the anchor you selected, to put you into your resourceful state. If it didn’t work, repeat the process, but this time, ramp up the good feelings and pick stronger memories.

When you go into your potentially confrontational situation, imagine you’re stepping into that circle and activate your anchor for that invincible, powerful you.

Watch your body language

Match and mirror consciously to help manage their states and lead them into a different state by building rapport. Use your body language to help get you into a resourceful state, prior to the meeting. Here’s a good TED talk to help you:

Be prepared

Ask for an agenda of what’s going to be discussed, along with any supporting documents so you can answer fully any questions that may be asked.

It’s important that you focus on being neutral, coming from a place of resolution and moving forward. Remind yourself of what outcome you want to come from this, along with the resources you need to make this happen (emotional and otherwise).

Facing any form of confrontation can be distressing, however using any (or all) of these strategies will help relieve that distress and, if possible, may also help you avert it all together.

Our WOBS members use our Facebook group as a major part of their support and advice networks – and you too, can benefit from that help and support, by taking out a free one-month trial. Find out more & get your first month free.

Image courtesy of Rido/Dollar Photo Club

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