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Tips on dealing with anger in conversation

When you disagree with someone it can create feelings of anger and frustration. I've recently been reading a book by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay called 'How to Have Impossible Conversations' and I wanted to share some of their tips on managing anger (even though I acknowledge it's easier said than done!).


Peter and James say:


Bite your tongue Do not counterattack. As much as you want to lash out, do not. Lashing out provokes and escalates and your goal should be to de-escalate.


Never respond to emails or comments on social media while angry offended or outraged

Wait. Cool down... the amount of attention you owe anyone who insulted you on social media is zero.


Listen, Listen, Listen

If conversations become tense, listen, When you're finished listening, listen more. Then ask clarifying questions. Then listen. Only then respond.

Do not deny a tense situation.


Avoid the word 'anger'.

Saying some is angry when they're upset can sound accusatory. Instead consider acknowledge the conversation as frustrating nad name it frustration.


Slow down

When you slow down the entire process down, you're simultaneously calming it down.


Immediately after a tense moment made an empathy statement

This is an opportunity to form a deeper connection. Say 'It's hard', 'That must be infuriating', and 'That frustrates me too',


Make safety a priority

Do not endure angry rants. Walk away!


(Taken from page 129, 130 of 'How to Have Impossilbe Conversations, A Very Practical Guide, by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay")

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