People get angry. It’s a proven fact. If you don’t get angry, you probably should. Don’t keep that anger all bottled up inside, where it’s going to mutate your cells or something.
The reason I bring this up is that I came across a couple of parenting resources recently that provide tips for handling conflicts. These two sheets of paper were among the piles that I sifted through in my ongoing quest to organize myself and my home. I’ll get there.
In most cases I should just toss the many “resources” I have gathered from magazines, school hand-outs, etc. But, as a parent who sometimes resorts to yelling as a way to make myself heard, I am going to hang onto these tips for communicating when you are angry.
Some of these tips work equally well for your interactions with colleagues at work. Some people are just downright annoying, aren’t they?
Here are a few of my favourite tips. They seem obvious, but they bear repeating, because when you are angry they are difficult to remember.
· Don’t attempt to communicate until you regain your cool. You cannot be objective until you settle down.
· Don’t tower over your child. Physically get down to the child’s level, then talk.
· Eliminate distractions by turning off the TV and cell phone, and discourage others from interrupting.
· Listen, without interrupting, to what the child says, even if you disagree. Then, restate what you have heard by repeating it.
· Unless other people are specifically meant to be included, hold conversations in private. Embarrassing the child or putting him or her on the spot in front of others will lead only to resentment and hostility.
· Keep preaching and moralizing to a minimum.
· Tell your child that you still love him or her, but that his or her behaviour is not acceptable. (This one may not work at your job!) See if together you can arrive at a solution.
· Create plans for those situations that typically create conflict. For example, if you traditionally argue while getting ready in the morning, hold a family meeting to come up with solutions.
· Use “I” messages to explain how others’ actions make you feel. Instead of “Your room is a mess,” you could try “I feel frustrated when I trip over toys.”
If all else fails, put the kids to bed and have a rum and coke!