This may come as a surprise to you.
You may not be ready.
I’m trying to do you a favor here….
If you keep reading, I can’t be responsible for your emotional response to this….
The 3 words guaranteed to start a fight in every relationship are:
- Calm down.
Ok, relax and calm down while I tell you why these words should be eliminated from your vocabulary.
Relax and calm down are the 3 words that are said by people who feel the conversation is getting too heated/intense/pointed/focused. These words are said by people looking to control the dialog and diffuse the situation. The PROBLEM is: this way of attempting to handle the situation is unhealthy and inflammatory.
Key responses from people receiving these words?
- I was calm, but now I want to hulk smash throw this desk at you.
- Relax? I’ll show you to relax by tying you to a chair and lighting your hair on fire. How about THAT?
- Who the hell do you think you are telling me to relax or calm down? I don’t think so, jackwagon.
If you’re guilty of using these words – don’t.
How do you appropriately handle the situation if someone’s said them to you? You’ve got options!
- Verbally say: I see my animated dialog is making you uncomfortable. I’m sorry you feel that way. (Do not relax, and don’t calm down, this is not your problem.)
- Do not respond to the inflammatory remark. Some people just want the satisfaction of cranking other people up. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
- Recognize that the other person is showing alarm or anxiety about where the conversation is going and may be unable to communicate their alarm or anxiety to you productively. – If you care about the relationship – try to help them navigate this with kindness.