2. Turn into the direction of the skid, rather than away from it.
These can both seem entirely counterintuitive. I mean, come on! As you start to skid and lose steering ability, your instincts likely shout, "Oh, no! Make it stop!" (Freeze), or "Break, break!" (Fight) or, "Steer hard the other way! Get the heck outta here!" (Flight) Most people's instincts never instruct them to resist breaking or to turn into oncoming traffic. This happens, too, in emotionally-charged conversations. Why Making A Mess Can Get You Closer To Success
Ever notice that when things starts to get heated, your instinct is to make it stop, put on the breaks or steer out of the conversational skid, by getting either defensive, protective, combative or shutting down? That's your Freeze, Fight or Flight Personality Type saying hello. But here's where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. There are generally two things that dig us deeper into conflict and misunderstanding. The first is not taking the time to fully understand what the other person is experiencing and expressing; and the second is getting defensive right away by Freezing, Fighting or Fleeing. How To Be Less Defensive
When we take the time to see, hear and understand (resist putting on the breaks) and validate the other person's experience (turn into the skid), amazing things can happen. Your course corrects. The conversation doesn't spin out of control or crash into the guardrail. The emotional charge dissipates, hearts become relaxed and open and it can become easier to work out what needs to be worked out.
The next time there's a conflict and you notice yourself Freezing, Fighting or Fleeing, here are some great things to try, in no particular order: How To Ease Mother-In-Law Conflict
1. Pause. Before you clam up, defend, attack or withdraw, simply stay present and pause for a moment. Breathe. You can check to see if there is really a bear or wooly mammoth gaining on you.
2. Channel. When you begin to experience the intense sensations that come with conflict, try channeling them like a lightning rod. Imagine the sensation running through your body like electricity and then into the ground. If that electricity stays in your body, you're likely to fry. The key is giving the emotions and sensations a place to go, and the stable ground is a great place for them. 5 Relationship Skills For Resolving Conflicts
3. Repeat. Repeat back what was said, as you heard it. You can say something like, "If I got that right _____ (repeat back what you heard)," or, "What I heard was _____ (repeat back what you heard). Did I get that right?" So often, what you heard is different than what they said or what they meant.
4. Clarify. You can even ask them for more, as in, "Let me see if I got all of that?" or "Is there any more you want to say about that?" Or even, "What else?" This will likely feel like the last thing you want to do. Much of you will still want to Freeze, Fight or Flee, but instead you'll turn into the skid! Hold any "red flags" that come up for you, and discuss them later. Dating Red Flags: Do You Ignore Them? [VIDEO]