Keep the Conflict Small!

Keep the Conflict Small! (With Managed Emotions)

By Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.

© 2015 by Bill Eddy

Whether you’re having an argument with a family member, friend or co-worker, it’s easy nowadays to make little conflicts way too big. All around us are repeated images of people arguing and losing control of their emotions – in emails, on the Internet, in movies and on TV – especially in the news (do you know what so-and-so said about you-know-who?) Not only is this unnecessary, but allowing conflicts to get large can be harmful to important relationships, increase the anxiety of those around us (especially children) and lower one’s status in other people’s eyes.

For example, in a recent article in Parade Magazine about the steps to becoming a successful entrepreneur, the author-expert Linda Rottenberg wrote: “The most important step is to manage your emotions.” (“An Entrepreneur Should Never Be a Daredevil,” November 2, 2014) In a recently-reported study about children’s brain development, child psychiatrist and researcher Jeffrey Rowe said the first five years of life are critically important to forming proper brain connections. “If you can’t control yourself, can’t control your emotions, you can’t pay attention to the outside world.” (B.J. Fikes, “Money, brain size linked,” U-T San Diego, March 31, 2015)

This article has some suggestions for keeping conflicts small by managing our emotions. Managed emotions are a big part of our skills-training methods, New Ways for Families and New Ways for Work, and may be more important in today’s world than ever before.
Try to Avoid This

A Family Feud: An argument in a couple: “You always leave your socks on the floor.” (That’s a little conflict.) “You’re such a slob.” (Now it’s a judgment about the whole person.) “You men, you’re all alike – irresponsible and self-centered!” (Now it’s about a whole gender.) If another family member came into this argument at this point, he or she would probably take gender sides and the conflict could easily get much bigger.

A Workplace Conflict: Some people clean up after themselves in the lunchroom and others don’t. Joe is a cleaner-upper. ”Look at this banana peel and sandwich bag, just left behind.” (A problem to solve.) “Why do I always have to clean up for everyone else!” (Now it’s about being a victim of everyone.) “Maybe I should go someplace to work where I’m appreciated!” (Now it’s about quitting – ending the relationship.)

A Divorce Dispute: Parents have to discuss a change of schedule: “I’ve got an opportunity for this coming Wednesday night – can we switch so I see the kids Tuesday or Thursday?” (A common problem to solve.) “I’ve told you a hundred times, I’m sticking to our Agreement, with no exceptions. 100%. The kids need absolute stability.” (Now we’re slipping into all-or-nothing thinking. Doubtful that it’s been a hundred times. However, rare cases do require no changes, because of extreme manipulation or violence in the past.) “In fact, I’m going to take you back to court to reduce your time with the kids, you f—ing jerk! You’re the worst father/mother in the world.” (Oops. Guess the children’s stability isn’t the issue after all.)
Try This Instead

In all of the above examples, the speaker quickly went from a simple problem to solve into all-or-nothing thinking and intense emotions. We refer to these emotions as unmanaged emotions, because they don’t get the person what the person really wants: respect, peace and quiet, a happy relationship, or whatever they were looking for. Now they have a bigger problem to solve and probably feel helpless or victimized, and distracted. Remember what the brain researcher said above: You can’t pay attention to the outside world when you’re busy reacting. So how can you manage your emotions in situations like this?

1. Regularly remind yourself to keep the conflict small. Ask yourself:

“Is this really a big deal?”

“Can this problem be solved by making a proposal?”

“What is the smallest issue here? Let’s start by solving that.”

“What are my choices here? I always have choices.”

2. Regularly give yourself encouraging statements. This will help you feel less defensive and less likely to over-react to other people’s behavior or emotions:

“It’s not about me!”

“I’m doing fine! I don’t have to prove anything here.”

“I can take a break!”

“I can handle this. No reason to lose control.”
Emotions Are Contagious

This all might seem very easy to do while you’re reading this. But actually it’s harder to do when other people aren’t managing their emotions, because emotions are contagious. There seems to be at least two reasons for this impact on our brains.

Amygdala responses: We have two amygdalae in our brains; one in the middle of each hemisphere. The right amygdala quickly reacts to other people’s facial expressions of fear and anger, and instantly starts a fight, flight or freeze response. Apparently the left amygdala responds more to threats in writing. You can see the protective response happening when someone else over-reacts – it’s usually sudden and extreme, and sometimes shocking in an office or in a meeting. But our prefrontal cortex (right behind your forehead) can over-ride the amygdala and say: Relax, it’s not a crisis. And the amygdala quiets down. This comes with practice – lots of practice telling yourself what’s not a crisis. This is a lot of what adolescence is about: figuring out what are real dangers that need fast all-or-nothing action and what are just problems to solve rationally.

Mirror neurons: Apparently we have neurons in our brains that fire when we do something AND when we just watch someone else doing something. Is seems that it’s a short-cut to learning – our brains are constantly getting us ready to do what others are doing. It may be a part of our group survival skills that we’re born with. Better to quickly run or fight or hide when others are doing so, rather than risk getting isolated and not surviving. But these responses can also be over-ridden – once you know about this. (So now you know about this.) But it also takes practice.

With this knowledge, you can be more specific with yourself when reminding yourself to keep the conflict small:

“I don’t have to mirror other people’s emotions.”

“I’m just having an amygdala response. But it’s not a crisis, so I can relax.”

“I have a choice: to react or focus on problem-solving. This is just a problem to solve.”
Get Support and Consultation

Another way to keep the conflict small is to talk to other people and get encouragement for yourself. This way you’ll feel less defensive and less anxious. Also, get their consultation suggestions for how to deal with a conflict and help keep it small. Ask: “Do you think this is a crisis? What do you see as my choices? What do you suggest?” Just talking to someone else can make a big difference.

You also may be facing a new problem you’ve never faced before. Don’t feel like you have to deal with it alone and don’t feel ashamed of yourself for being in your situation. Today, the types of problems most of us face have come up for thousands or millions of other people. Family issues, workplace conflicts, divorce disputes are extremely common. Yet it’s easy to see these problems as huge and overwhelming, and become isolated and feel helpless. Remind yourself: “It’s just a problem to solve. I can get consultation and suggestions from someone else. I don’t have to deal with this alone.”

Tune Out Extreme Media

Much of today’s media repeatedly shows dramatic images of people losing control over ordinary problems: from sitcoms to movies to the evening news. They compete to grab your attention with more and more extreme behavior, to get viewers and “market share” in the highly competitive world of modern media. But remember mirror neurons. We are absorbing this extreme loss-of-control behavior we observe, even when we aren’t thinking about it. Use your prefrontal cortex and remind yourself: These aren’t crises; they’re entertainment designed to grab my amygdala and mirror neurons. I can tune this out. It’s up to me what I think and feel.

Conclusion

Modern life has made us more aware of problems around the world, and exposes us constantly to other people’s over-reactions to problems. However, we can keep the conflict small, by what we tell ourselves and by understanding that we have control over our emotions to a great extent – especially if we practice encouraging statements and getting support. We’re not alone with these problems – at home or at work. We can handle them and get help when we need it. We can “Keep the conflict small!”

Bill Eddy is a mediator, lawyer, therapist and the President of the High Conflict Institute based in San Diego. High Conflict Institute provides consultation for high-conflict situations, coaching for BIFF Responses (written responses that are Brief, Informative, Friendly and Firm), and training for professionals in managing high conflict disputes in legal, workplace, healthcare and educational settings. He is also co-author with L. Georgi DiStefano, LCSW, of the Axiom Award-Winning new book: It’s All Your Fault at Work! Managing Narcissists and Other High-Conflict People. For books, videos for anyone, free articles or to schedule a training: www.HighConflictInstitute.com.
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We are only half awake. GRIT

We are only half awake. GRIT

White Paper Article below excerpts to allow you to investigate and learn more
about the Personality Trait of GRIT.

Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked. We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental resources. . . men the world over possess amounts of resource, which only exceptional individuals push to their extremes of use.
(William James, 1907, pp. 322–323)

We define grit as perseverance and passion for long-term goals.
Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining
effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity, and plateaus
in progress. The gritty individual approaches achievement as
a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina. Whereas disappointment
or boredom signals to others that it is time to change
trajectory and cut losses, the gritty individual stays the course.

Take Angela Duckworth’s
THE GRIT SCALE INVENTORY

What did you score?

In a qualitative study of the development of world-class pianists,

neurologists, swimmers, chess players, mathematicians, and sculp-

tors, Bloom (1985) noted that “only a few of [the 120 talented

individuals in the sample] were regarded as prodigies by teachers,

parents, or experts” (p. 533). Rather, accomplished individuals

worked day after day, for at least 10 or 15 years, to reach the top

of their fields. Bloom observed that in every studied field, the

general qualities possessed by high achievers included a strong

interest in the particular field, a desire to reach “a high level of

attainment” in that field, and a “willingness to put in great amounts

of time and effort” (p. 544). Similarly, in her study of prodigies

who later made significant contributions to their field, Winner

(1996) concluded, “Creators must be able to persist in the face of

difficulty and overcome the many obstacles in the way of creative

discovery

….

Drive and energy in childhood are more predictive

of success, if not creativity, than is IQ or some other more

domain-specific ability” (p. 293).

The qualitative insights of Winner (1996), Bloom (1985), and

Galton (1892), coupled with evidence gathered by the current

investigation and its forerunners, suggest that, in every field, grit

may be as essential as talent to high accomplishment. If

substantiated, this conclusion has several practical implications:

First, children who demonstrate exceptional commitment to a particular

goal should be supported with as many resources as those identi-

fied as “gifted and talented.” Second, as educators and parents, we

should encourage children to work not only with intensity but also

with stamina. In particular, we should prepare youth to anticipate

failures and misfortunes and point out that excellence in any

discipline requires years and years of time on task. Finally, liberal

arts universities that encourage undergraduates to sample broadly

should recognize the ineluctable trade-off between breadth and

depth. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, the goal of an education

is not just to learn a little about a lot but also a lot about a little.

PDF: Grit-JPSP

Angela Duckworth

AngelaDuckworth
Angela Duckworth is Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Founder and Scientific Director of the Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. In 2013, Angela was named a MacArthur Fellow in recognition of her research on grit, self-control, and other non-IQ competencies that predict success in life.

GRITbook-cover

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is her first book.

Take Angela Duckworth’s
THE GRIT SCALE INVENTORY

What did you score?

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 Interview With Dr. Travis Bradberry

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 Interview With Dr. Travis Bradberry

University of California Television (UCTV)
Recorded on 03/24/2016. Series: “The Career Channel” [5/2016] [Business]
[Show ID: 30697]

Emotional Intelligence Vs. Intelligence Quotient

Emotional Intelligence for the masses dates back to Emotional Intelligence book by Daniel Goleman research (1995), based on the work of Dr. John Mayer, Dr. Peter Salovey, and Dr. David Caruso.

MSCEIT Emotional Intelligence Test DanGoleman

Daniel Goleman, PhD

Twenty-one years later, the research points to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that boosts star performers above other co-workers.

Emotional intelligence affects:

  • How we manage what we say and do
  • Handle social complexities
  • Personal decision making for either positive or negative outcomes

 

Emotional intelligence is made up of four core skills that pair up under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.

EI-2.0-FourSkillsQuadrants

Personal Competence is made up of your self-awareness and self-management skills.

Personal competence is your ability to stay aware of your emotions and manage your behavior and tendencies.

 

  • Self-Awareness is your ability to accurately perceive your emotions and stay aware of them as they happen.
  • Self-Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your behavior.

Social Competence is made up of your social awareness and relationship management skills.

Social competence is your ability to understand other people’s moods, behavior, and motives in order to improve the quality of your relationships.

  • Social Awareness is your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on.
  • Relationship Management is your ability to use awareness of your emotions and the others’ emotions to manage interactions successfully.

EI_SkillsTreeEI-2.0_SkillSetDiagram

 

 

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Emotional Intelligence 2.0

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DrTravisBradberry

 

Dr Travis Bradberry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Doctor Suspended After Video Shows Her Allegedly Attacking Uber Driver

Video Shows Miami Doctor Allegedly Attacking Uber Driver

 

Published on Jan 22, 2016

A Florida doctor was allegedly caught on camera physically and verbally attacking an Uber driver in Miami. Dr. Anjali Ramkissoon apparently jumped into the Uber car ahead of another passenger. In the video, Ramkissoon can be seen trying to hit the driver and apparently knees him in the groin. He pushes her and she falls to the ground. She gets right up and climbs in the car, screaming at the driver to get back in. Ramkissoon, who specializes in headaches, has been put on administrative leave.

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Emotions Series – Anger | Most Epic Angry Dark Music Mix

Emotions Series – Anger | Most Epic Angry Dark Music Mix

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Richard Taylor’ Owner/Director of Atlanta Anger Management offers you an Unique Approach to helping you with anger issues, rage, couples conflict, melt downs, doing and saying stupid things.

Private Sessions best if you want fast action turn-around in your life. Solo or Couple.

Get help before you self-destruct. Discrete, no signs. Confidential.

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Spending money on helping yourself become less reactive, explosive, judgmental, less jealous is a small investment. Think of the money you blow in your entire life…?
Years ahead a calmer more rational you…can you see that? Look…imagine…see it…

It Is Possible! #itispossible #lessangry #atlangerman #remaincalm

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Law of Vibration – Bob Proctor

Law of Vibration – Bob Proctor

” We literally live in an ocean of motion.” – Bob Proctor

Understanding the #LawOfVibration is essential for a fulfilled life. Watch and change the way you are, how you see things, your control of your emotions. It affects your Health, Relationships, Wealth, even Selling of your idea, product or service. Learn to be in harmony with the Universal vibrations of the cosmos and world and fulfill your purpose. #atlangerman


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Richard TaylorRichard Taylor #atlangerman  @atlangerman
Owner/Director of Atlanta Anger Management is passionate about helping people be intelligent with their emotions!

To get to that place that Mr. Proctor speaks about in this video. The “space” between situation and response. We do have a choice in how we react to situations, people, events. Even our own thoughts and feelings.

Anger Classes and Private Sessions are offered.
In most cases we can help you quickly shift to that better place for more positive interactions and consequences.

Call Richard at 678-576-1913 or e-mail to get started
bringing in 2016 with a #BANG! And #CALMER

Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management
5555 Glenridge Connector
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Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Office Phone: 678-576-1913
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How To Drive Defensively

How to Drive Defensively

Adopting defensive-driving techniques can keep you safe on the road and may even save you money and your life! Many insurance companies reduce policyholders’ premiums if they maintain accident-free driving records or take an accredited course on defensive-driving techniques. If you want to learn how to drive defensively, follow these steps.

  1. Stay focused, keeping your hands on the wheel. Defensive drivers concentrate on the road, keeping their hands at the 10 o’clock-2 o’clock position. They don’t do other tasks while driving, some of which are illegal. These include:
    • Eating
    • Applying makeup
    • Holding a dog
    • Tending to a child
    • Operating a hand-held cell phone
    • Texting
  1. Keep your eyes moving. Continuously look in your mirrors and scan the road ahead, checking for hazards and slowing traffic so you can anticipate problems before they develop.
  2. Stay alert. Don’t drive if you’re tired, upset, or angry.
  3. Go with the flow. Most drivers know that speeding is a major cause of accidents, but driving too slow can be dangerous, too. Drive at speeds that most other vehicles are going.
  4. Use the 2 second rule on heavily traveled roads to maintain adequate spacing with the car in front of you.
    • Choose a fixed object on the road ahead of you.
    • Count “1 independence, 2 independence” when the car in front of you goes by the object. If you pass the same object before you’re done counting, slow down a bit. The 2 second rule helps reduce the chance of a rear-end collision when cars in front make sudden stops.
  1. Make yourself visible. Many accidents occur because drivers didn’t see the other car. There are a few simple ways to make your presence known, making the road safer for everyone. They include:
    • Turn signals: Use your turn signals to let other drivers know where you’re going. By using your blinkers, other drivers will be able to anticipate your actions and slow down safely.
    • Headlights: Turn on your headlights at dusk or anytime it is raining. This is more for other drivers to see you than for you to see the road. In some states it is illegal to drive without your headlights on while the windshield wipers are in operation.
    • Brake lights: Operational brake lights are a safety must. They warn cars behind you that you’re slowing down, signaling them to reduce speed, too.
    • Avoid blind spots: Don’t linger in areas where the driver in front of you can’t see you. Many people will only check their mirrors before making a lane change. If you’re lurking slightly behind and a lane away from another vehicle, assume that the driver of that car can’t see you. Either safely speed up or slow down to avoid this scenario, which often results in an accident. This is an important defensive-driving technique.
  1. Resist road rage. Aggressive drivers may infuriate you, but retaliating with similar tactics is dangerous. Take a passive approach in dealing with road rage. Use these strategies in specific road-rage scenarios:
    • Tailgaters: If the driver behind you is right on your bumper, tap the brakes a few times to let the driver know that he’s not maintaining a safe distance. If he stays on your tail, slow down gradually. Chances are the tailgater will eventually pass you.
    • Speeders: If you see a car speeding or aggressively changing lanes behind you, stay in your lane while maintaining your speed.
  1. Adapt to road conditions. Even light rain can produce dangerous conditions, particularly early in the season when the water picks up oil from the road surface, making it slippery. Tires lose their grip at higher speeds, so slowing down in inclement weather is a fundamental defensive-driving technique.
  2. Familiarize yourself with traffic rules. Refresh your memory by browsing a Department of Motor Vehicles pamphlet detailing the rules of the road. It provides guidelines on rights of way, road signs, traffic law, and contains tips on safe driving.
  3. Avoid Rear-Enders in Intersections: Move only when it is clear. Sometimes an intersection gets backed up with traffic.
    • If you’re the first car to go at green, make sure traffic on the other side of the intersection that you are moving into has cleared before you decide to go. This can prevent you from getting in a situation where you might get T-boned if you get stuck or stalled in an intersection.
    • Turning into an intersection: a lot of rear-end collisions happen when the driver behind you assumes you are going to complete the turn, even if traffic is backed up.
    • Give yourself enough room: if you must stop in an intersection, slow down carefully and keep distance from any other cars that have yet to complete the intersection. If the person behind you ‘flip-flops’ and rear-ends your car, you’ll save yourself the trouble the car in front of you is not involved. No fun having dents front And back.

Source:     http://www.wikihow.com/Drive-Defensively

CONTACT

Director Richard Taylor

Director Richard Taylor

Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Office Phone: 678-576-1913
Fax: 1-866-551-1253
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Atlanta Is Rated The 2nd Least Courteous Drivers In US

AutoVantage Survey on Road Rage Identifies Atlanta as 2nd Least Courteous City in the US

Stamford, CT- May 12, 2014- When it comes to getting to and from work, a recent survey says Atlantans have it worse than citizens in just about any other city.

The 2014 In the Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey identified Atlanta as having the second least courteous drivers across America’s largest cities. This represents an “increase” of two spots from the same survey in 2009.

Rankings were determined by measuring a wide array of driving actions that inhabitants admit to performing and acknowledge seeing, along with observations of their reactions to other drivers.

When compared to drivers in other cities,

Survey Participants in Atlanta are:

  • Most likely to admit purposely bumping another driver in reaction to perceived poor driving
  • Most likely to see another driver speeding
  • Most Likely to acknowledge tailgating someone else
  • 2nd most likely to see other drivers eating or drinking while behind the wheel

While drivers in Atlanta were identified as among the least courteous, Portland, OR was identified as having the most courteous drivers.

The survey’s best and worst cities were:

Least Courteous
2014 2009
Houston New York City
Atlanta Dallas
Baltimore Detroit
Washington DC Atlanta
Boston Minneapolis
Most Courteous
2014 2009
Portland Portland
Pittsburgh Cleveland
St. Louis Baltimore
San Francisco Sacramento
Charlotte Pittsburgh

“AutoVantage aims to provide peace-of-mind for our members, with world class technology that ensures rapid assistance in our customers’ time of need,” said Rob DiPietro, GVP of Product Services for AutoVantage. “The survey prepares our members for the things that they may encounter when driving in a new city.”

The In the Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey, commissioned by AutoVantage, the complete car and roadside assistance service, measured behavior, observations and attitudes related to “road rage” as reported in America’s 25 largest cities, and provides an update to previous research completed in 2009.

Other cities surveyed in 2014 include Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa Bay.

Observations for each city can be found at www.autovantage.com/roadrage.html

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines
#roadrage as when a driver “commits moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property; an assault with a motor vehicle or other dangerous weapon by the operator or passenger of one motor vehicle on the operator or passengers of another motor vehicle”.

The NHTSA makes a clear distinction between road rage and aggressive driving, where road rage is a criminal charge and aggressive driving is a traffic offense. This definition places the blame on the driver.

Road Rage Behavior Among Drivers In U.S. 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Atlanta Anger Management offers help for:

  • Road Rage
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Stress Management
  • Anger Management
  • Rage Management
  • Assertive Communication Skill Enhancement
  • Learning Self Control Of Emotions
  • Safe Driving


CONTACT:

Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management
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Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Office Phone: 678-576-1913
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