A Two Word Mantra to Save You in Confrontational Situations
BY DAVID GERKEN
“When I get poked, I go straight to ‘Heart open. Heart open. Heart open.’” says mediator David Gerken when he talks about his two word mantra ‘Heart open’ that helps him remain calm and mediate in confrontational situations. Do you have a mantra that helps you deal with conflict?
We heap a ton of suffering on ourselves not from the substance of the fights we have, but from how we do the fighting. Does the following scene sound at all familiar?
Significant Other: “Honey, I’d appreciate if you’d put your plate in the dishwasher and not leave it on the counter.”
You: “Oh, just shut the f&%k up! I’m so tired of your bulls*&t!”
This is followed by a couple of slammed doors and an icy evening had by all. Hopefully, it’s just an evening and doesn’t bleed into the next morning, day, week, month or an appearance in divorce court.
Whatever the case, we all know that these kinds of explosions are all harm, no good. We also know that most of them are avoidable.
Respond, don’t react
Most of you are familiar with how they’re avoidable. It’s the old ‘respond, don’t react’ strategy. Which really boils down to, do your best to take at least a few seconds to get your boiling cauldron of anger that’s just been poked to simmer down to an acceptable temperature.
And therein lies the rub. So much needless pain and suffering comes from our not being able to catch ourselves in those few seconds before the volcano erupts.
I’ve found a two-word phrase that goes a long way in tempering my anger and upset. Here it is:
That’s it. Just those two words.