There’s no doubt that our most positive and most negative experiences in life come from our interactions with other people. Family, friends, in the workplace, on social media, no matter what the setting it’s the people in our lives that make these experiences what they are. No one can push your buttons quite like family. No one can influence your sense of self-worth quite like your work colleagues. No one can lift your spirits with a strong validation quite like a good friend. The people in our lives are what we remember long after the experience has come and gone.
But inevitably, we’ll face a situation where we have a strong negative confrontation with someone. And because of the inbuilt automatic defence mechanism known as our ego, we can very easily get caught up in the negativity of the experience, feeding it by buying into the argument, striking out to defend ourselves, or retreating into the victim’s corner.
So how do you deal with a negative situation without buying into it? How do you diffuse a negative confrontation while still standing your ground? Here are two examples that have proven to work incredibly well in situations where a confrontation has taken a negative turn.
“When you’re ready to have a reasonable conversation about this, then come see me and we’ll talk about it.”
Why this works –
- It sends a clear message that you don’t accept the negative way in which the person is communicating with you
- It tells them that you’re still prepared to discuss the issue and work it out
- It’s more positive than “Why are you being so difficult?” or “Why are you attacking me?”.
“I’m very sorry you feel that way.” (end of conversation!)
Why this works –
- It reminds them that the way they feel is their business and it’s nothing to do with you
- It shows that you still have some empathy for the difficult thing they’re going through
- It’s not an easy statement to argue with!
Nobody wins if you buy into the negativity and join the fight, but avoiding the confrontation doesn’t resolve anything either. The idea is to find that perfect balanced response that defends your position and your values, but doesn’t invalidate anyone else’s.
With Love from your Coach,