How many times have you got caught up in an argument that if just one of you had been less defensive, could have been resolved or at least diffused, if handled better?

Here’s 7 tips on how to control your own demeanour and, in turn, the potential landmine that an argument can be.

  1. Take a deep breath just before the confrontation or during it. This lowers your heartbeat and blood pressure.
  2. Breathe a little slower, again, the amount of adrenaline running through your body also drops.
  3. Take 5 minutes, if you can, quickly rehearse what you are going to say to someone. Make key points of your argument.
  4. Get to know what triggers your anger. Prepare a new response to that trigger. By doing this you are aware of the buttons people can push to elicit a certain response.
  5. Make the person aware of how confrontational they are being. Saying something like ‘why are you shouting at me?’, ‘Why are you being so aggressive’. This turns the energy back on the person and lets them look at themselves for a minute, this might calm them down as people get lost in the moment.
  6. Turn all the attention back on the person you are arguing with. ‘You seem really angry about that!’. This can have the same effect of point 5.
  7. Don’t get sucked into their arguments. The purpose of an argument is to manipulate you into losing one, thereby showing the other person they are superior.

Consider this story…

I drove past someone who lived on our estate and he was walking his dog. He was on the pavement as I drove past. I pulled into the driveway then heard this guy shouting at me. He walked aggressively and I prepared myself for a confrontation as I hadn’t a clue what had happened. The conversation went as follows;

“You soaked my dog”, I looked at his dog and suddenly realised I must have driven through a puddle. Inside, I questioned the absurdity of this man looking for a fight because some water had gone over his dog. I said

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realise.”’

“You did soak him, you went through a puddle and soaked him.”

“I said, apologies for soaking your dog I didn’t realise” repeating what I had said before. His demeanour changed.

“Well you did and I’m pissed off!”

“I can see you are, but it was an accident”. As he turner to walk away, he added “

I’m sorry I was so angry, it’s just it happened last night as well with somebody else.”

“It’s okay, I understand. See you later” I replied.

This shows that different things annoy different people, but it’s easy to deal with their behaviour if you point out how they are behaving.

If there are anger issues within your workplace, give Neil a call on 07761 187238 or email info@coachingtosuccess.co.uk to arrange a free, no obligation consultation and discuss what issues are affecting you.