How To Avoid Angry Confrontations
It’s very disturbing when someone gets angry with you isn’t it? Almost immediately you feel that charge in your body, your blood pressure increases, you feel the flush in your cheeks, your heart starts pumping and adrenalin is coursing through your veins. Your first reaction is aggression. You rise up to meet your challenger and you defend your ground and force back on them with equal if not greater intensity of anger.
Now we have a collision of angry energy that usually escalates as each party unconsciously is vying for supremacy in this angry battle. Before long the entire episode, that can take literally a few minutes, can not only change your day or week, but can severely damage the relationship for good.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a way to be a part of that exchange that doesn’t involve you dropping down into a negative angry space. And there are two really good reasons why it’s important that we do our best to hold our own space and not get influenced by other people’s energetic states.
Firstly, holding our own calm and compassionate space is much healthier for our body. When we change our emotional state into anger our whole body changes. We are moving into sympathetic nervous system state as your body is preparing for a battle. Your blood pressure increases, your breath rate changes, your heart starts beating faster, your blood sugar levels changes, your brain starts functioning from basic reptilian rear lobe, and your biochemistry changes as cortisol and adrenalin replace serotonin and oxytocin. Now our entire state of well-being and happiness has been removed and it could take the entire day to reclaim it back.
Secondly, when we merge our angry state with the person who is projecting their angry state onto us, we have removed any possibility of inspiring them to another alternative. There is no backing out now and what was one angry person is now two angry people. This can then have a multiplying effect as we share our new angry state with friends and family who can then also join in the angry movement. “Oh that just makes me so angry!” they may reply to your sharing of the situation. Now two becomes three and so on it goes like a nasty virus of mediocrity and negativity spreading across society. By not having autonomy and sustaining our calm non-reactive state we have removed any possibility of offering the angry person any other option. We missed the possibility of inspiring harmony and unity at a much healthier level. This is disempowering for you and not great for them.
So how do we avoid getting pulled into those situations? Well this is the challenging part that requires constant vigilance and awareness. The ego of course thrives in angry confrontation; this really enlivens the ego and gives it a sense of purpose. The ego is like woo hoo! I love this stuff! And then the ego hijacks your state. The key to preventing the ego from disempowering you is constant vigilance and awareness of what’s ego and what’s not. We need to differentiate between what is ego and what is our essential nature because if we try doing this by suppressing emotions, (a characteristic of ego) then that suppressed energy will seek a release in some shape or form at a later date.
Behind the noise of the ego is a silent witness, a quiet awareness that simply is. In Vedic teachings they call it AMness or Being. Connecting with that is done though the deep transcending meditation techniques that take the mind out of duality and into the silence, where there is no thought, form or phenomenon. Regular meditation will over time enable you to sustain the presence of this quiet awareness through even the most testing of times. Then when a situation arises, you will have your default state prevail and no ego hijacking you out of it into a reactive emotional state. From here compassion, kindness, rationale and calm will be able to prevail within you. This may help diffuse the situation quickly and offer some inspiration for your angry attacker as another alternative. If not, then the next best outcome is that instead of two angry people we only now have one.
A little disclaimer…this process takes time and practice. It’s not an overnight shift that takes place. Be easy on yourself if you find yourself getting swept away by emotional reactivity. And if in doubt, seek out some support and guidance through these situations that doesn’t involve dumping more anger onto your Mum, brother, colleague or best friend.
Oh and one more thing, sometimes we may need to respond in a firm forceful way. Certain situations might call for this. Doing this mindfully and resetting quickly back to calm after the incident will dramatically affect how you feel and it will wash you of the negative charge quickly.
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