Redirection: Handle With Care
Sometimes it’s not us, but the people around us that are having a bad day. Our friends, family, the people closest to us. Sometimes they verbally direct their anger at us, even with it has nothing to do with us. For many of us, our first instinct is to yell back and get angry and well.
Handle With Care:
- First carefully, calmly and thoughtfully ask the person what thing/s happened to upset them.
- If they DON”T want to talk about it yet then don’t push them. (Something I need to work on because I’m a “Fixer.”)
- If they DO want to talk about it, just listen.
- Take a deep breath. (You need it, as much as they might.)
- Give them space for a few minutes to calm down.
- Return and kindly and calmly let them know that while you understand they are having a tough time you’d appreciate they not direct their anger at you.
- Give them more space.
- Depending on the nature of your relationship you may choose to help them with things not related to their problem to help ease tension. For example: If it is my SO’s turn to do the dishes or cook and they are having a crap day then I’ll just do it for them and they’ll return the favor later.
I understand that we all deal with stress differently and that what may not make me upset may make my friends and family upset. I’ve struggled in the past with being the sort of person, who just tried to fix everyone and everything and in the process just made it worse, because I was unable to recognize some people’s need for space and/or privacy even if was just a temporary thing. Also, I tended to react without listening fully.
I’ve been trying to apply these steps in my real life and I hope it helps some of you like it does me.