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How to handle difficult conversations

How to handle difficult conversations

There are rare occasions when we are in a conversation that is not easy for us, either because it is not going where we wanted, or because the interlocutor bothers us or we feel attacked ... Today, we explain how to manage difficult conversations.

Why do difficult conversations appear?

The truth is that difficult conversations can appear in a multitude of circumstances and situations. But the truth is that, regardless of them, they always occur by the same mechanism: Your emotional brain is taking the reins.

Your emotional brain acts when your rational mind is not able to face the situation before it. This happens in many situations of life, not just in discussions.

Surely, you have ever done something without knowing or why. And, surely, it has been something that has saved your life or saved you from some important danger. All right, what acted there was your emotional brain, who took the reins of your body in front of the rational mind.

That same mechanism is activated when we are in a conversation that is getting out of hand and begins to become an argument. Your emotional brain interprets that the rational part is being unable to control the situation, and begins to act saying: Or you run away, or you attack.

And, of course, when that happens, something similar happens to the mind of the other person. Thus, you are both in that situation of attacking or fleeing (and we usually attack, we are not going to fool ourselves).

This can be very visible in a couple discussion, but it is not the only situation in which it can happen. Think of a job interview in which the interviewer is especially aggressive. Surely, you would respond in bad ways, because you would let your emotional brain take the reins.

These situations in which it is the emotional brain that takes the reins is called emotional kidnapping. So, what to do?

What to do to solve emotional kidnapping in discussions

Next, I mention some keys with which you can solve difficult conversations, getting away from the emotional kidnapping that can be so harmful.

Keep calm

Remember that, where one does not want, two do not discuss. Keeping calm and continuing with the tone of conversation will make the person in front of you also get in that tone, and shouting is avoided.

By avoiding a stressful situation, the rational brain can continue to act, and therefore the emotional brain does not need to appear. If you influence the wrath of the person in front of you, the ball will get bigger and bigger.

Treat the uncontrolled person as if he were a child

If you face a child who is out of control, would you not argue? After all, it is out of control and will not listen to your reasons. But you would not be angry either, because ... he is a child.

In those situations, what we do is wait for the anger to pass and lower that emotionality. Once that happens, we can resume the conversation from a rational point of view.

Speak slowly

When we talk fast we don't think what we say. It is the emotional brain that speaks for us. Therefore, the simple act of speaking more slowly helps us think better about what we say and, thus, let the rational brain speak.

It is also important to ask the other person to speak more slowly, so that he enters into that tone of conversation and speaks his rational brain instead of the emotional one. But beware! Angry people don't like to be told what to do, so please ask for things.

Ask questions

When you ask questions, you force the other person to give answers. And ... The answers you have to give with your rational brain! Therefore, if, instead of making affirmations, you ask questions, little by little you get your emotional brain out of the discussion.

That, in turn, will make the other person calm down. So do not try to justify yourself, or give explanations, or say how you feel. Just ask the other person questions.

Do not challenge the other person, give understanding

Finally, once the other person is giving you their explanations and answering your questions, you should not contradict it. You may have reasons to do so, but it is not the best time. You will do it the next day or a few hours later.

At that time, you must be understanding, because any attack or confrontation will reawaken that emotional part of the brain, and you will discuss again instead of talking.

As you can see, manage difficult conversations It is easier than it might seem. By following the advice we have given you in this short guide, you can do it without much difficulty. Remember that good communication is what makes us human!