Humans are emotional animals. Logic, reason and practicality quick flee when emotions are in hyperdrive. Mix emotions with a fragile ego and decisions will seem unreasonable, bordering on insane. Keeping your emotions in check takes practice and determination. Setting ego aside to rationally make decisions requires confidence in your abilities, a solid grasp of the facts and empathy for the situation. Decisions made outside that framework will always be poor.
Breath In, Breath Out
Probably the single biggest problem with emotions is that they can come on suddenly. Maybe it’s the way someone says something or maybe you are in a bad mood. Whatever it may be, resisting the temptation to talk before thinking is the best way to reduce your emotional state. Pause a bit before blurting out a response. Ask for clarification if you feel an out burst coming on. Breath in slowly, hold it for a second and breath it out slowly. Think before you speak.
Ego In The Mix
We all have that one special topic that tweaks our ego to the point where emotions come flooding out. Mostly, these ego based out bursts are related to our insecurities. People will pick up on these trigger points and the more nasty humans among us will take advantage. Push your ego aside by coming to terms with your shortcomings. All of us have them. Even the most successful among us are bad at something. Most times, we try to hide these shortcomings because we feel people will look down on us. Maybe they will but most will totally forget or don’t care. Confront them head on and deal with it.
Keeping In Check
Pausing before talking is an important practice to reduce your emotional state. Having a script you follow or some key talking point that grounds you also helps. In general, it’s best to bring back any emotionally charged discussions back to common ground — even when the attacks are coming fast and furious. This technique also allows you to diminish the effectiveness of emotionally charged insults by throwing the attacker off guard. Most times, the ranter gets on a roll and becomes even more emotional. Stopping the roll brings the conversation back to a civil tone.
Just The Facts
Fact checking is a great way to reduce the emotional energy in a conversation. Just circling back to the known facts can reduce the emotions and remove the egos. Data or what data to collect also allows for conversations to center around important facts and figures not emotions and ego. Doing this will diffuse the tension to a manageable level since you are focusing on the solution rather than the emotions and egos of the parties.
When All Else Fails
In some cases, you may not be able to successfully get the emotions and ego out of discussions. A final tactic would be to call out that the discussion is too emotionally charged and differ it to another time. This usually shocks the other party into suddenly pausing and asking why. Stating that there is an emotional conflict and exiting the situation will allow everyone to relax. You will be surprised how well this technique works.
In all situations, as long as you remain respectful and require the same in return, you will be able to reduce your emotional state and remove your ego from your interactions. Keep this in mind the next time you interact with a emotionally charged egomaniac.