8 Steps to Deal with Irrational People
Isolation and Lockdown during the Coronavirus Era has caused a lot of strain in Relationships. Domestic violence is on the rise and addictions as coping mechanisms are a problem. It is a vicious cycle, so let’s call it Enough!
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The following steps are very useful for dealing with irrational people. As a coach I am in complete agreement with this article I read via Oprah.com and I wanted to share it with you!
The most effective kind of pause has eight steps. Here’s what you need to walk through in your mind in order to keep poised and in control, despite what the irrational person is saying.
Step 1: Physical Awareness
Identify and pinpoint the physical sensations you’re feeling right now. Complete this sentence: “Right now, I’m physically feeling _________________.”
Fill in the blank with whatever physical sensation you’re feeling (for instance, “a knot in my stomach” or “tension
in my head”).
Step 2: Emotional Awareness
Attach an emotion to the physical sensation. Complete the sentence: “And now I’m feeling
_________________.” Fill in the blank with the emotion you’re feeling, noting how intensely you’re feeling it
(for example, “very angry”), to completely capture your emotion in words.
Step 3: Impulse Awareness
Put your impulse into words.
Complete this sentence: “This feeling makes me want to _________________.”
Fill in the blank with your immediate emotional reaction. (For example, “Tell my mother I hate her.”)
Step 4: Consequence Awareness
Give yourself a reality check before you do something you’ll regret.
Complete this sentence: “If I respond this way, what’s likely to happen is _________________.” Fill in the
blank with all the possible consequences (for example, “I’ll feel better for a moment and then feel guilty or
Step 5: Insight Awareness
Gain insight into the situation and your own response to it.
Complete this sentence: “Now that I’m a little calmer, I can see that I might be overreacting or taking the
situation too personally in this way: _________________.”
Fill in the blank, identifying any misconceptions you might have (for example, you might say, “I took what my
mother said far too personally, when she was just trying to point my attention to a behavior I really do need to
Step 6: Solution Awareness
Come up with a better solution than what you were going to impulsively do. Complete this sentence: “A better thing to do would be_________________.”
Fill in the blank with something that might work out better (for example, “to take a deep breath and agree with
my mother, but tell her that I’ll react better in the future if she doesn’t use a scolding tone and I’d appreciate
her trying to do that”).
Step 7: Benefit Awareness
Say to yourself what the benefit will be if you use that strategy. Complete this sentence: “If I try that better
strategy, the benefits will be _________________.” Fill in the blank, listing as many benefits as possible (for
example, “We won’t get into an argument, my mother will feel validated and I will feel more assertive about what
I need from her”).
Step 8: “Let’s Go” Awareness
Commit to taking action.
Fill in the blank: “Now that I did the first seven steps, what I am going to do is _________________.” (For
example, “try what I came up with in Step 6 and not wait for another argument to tell my mother how to give me
constructive criticism in the future.”)
Staying in control during a conversation with an irrational person — or during any life crisis — is hard, especially
at first. That’s because you need to remain calm, even as you’re experiencing a nearly overwhelming urge to
give in to anger or fear. But if you’re serious about successfully talking to crazy, these eight steps are game
changers. So make an effort to practice them every day, especially right before you meet with an irrational
person. Talking to crazy is an Olympic-level skill, and you’ll be less likely to experience defeat if you exercise
beforehand and develop some serious mental muscle.