Remember the last time you got really, really angry at someone or something ... and you lost all semblance of dignity, self-control, clear headed thinking, socially acceptable demeanor and started shouting like a banshee or stormed off in a huff and a puff? I’m talking about the time you were so angry you wanted to break stuff and strangle people. Or, horror of horrors, you burst into tears in the middle of the argument.
That’s the one I’m talking about. Complete and pure emotional flooding. Head hanging shame years down the line.
Emotional flooding is very real for most of us when we are in conflict. What we set out to say and do and what happens once we are triggered are worlds apart. Once we are emotionally flooded it is very difficult to regain composure and think clearly and rationally about the situation at hand.
Time-out is an excellent idea. However, time-out only works if you do something completely different to take your mind off the situation and regain equilibrium. It does not work if: You loop the situation round and round in your head, discuss it in detail with anyone who has an ear, vent at every possible opportunity, try and garner support for your point of view. Generally, any of these responses just bring back the emotions you are actually trying to get under control.
Only once you are calm and in control of your story will you be able to remember and hear the other person’s side and maybe, just maybe, you will be open to the possibility that there is something that neither of you are taking into account or thinking of.
To limit emotional flooding and bring people back to calm, I have developed a unique set of 17 conflict cards with 15 specific questions each. The combination of image and questions work well because it appeals to our creative visual side as well as require a cognitive response.
Having something to look at and think about, or find an answer for, generally means a less emotional response. The more in control of themselves people feel, the easier it is for them to listen and talk in a way that their message can be received.
And, slowly people start relating to the other side of the story and uncovering the blind spots.
Want to give it a try and see if it helps you?
Have your conflict situation in mind and look at the image for the blog.
Answer the following questions:
What is the first thought that comes up for you when you look at the card?
What is the first emotion that comes up for you?
Which element on the card bothers you most? Why is that? Who or what does this element represent?Which element represents you in the conflict situation? Why?
What is in the bowl? How does that impact the conflict situation?
What do you need to bring hope to the situation?
Made any difference? Do you feel a bit calmer and did you get any insights?
This is just a sample of what you can expect. If you want more information please mail me.