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How can you deal with angry people without losing your cool?

 

Tell yourself they are having a bad day and that it’s not about you.

Via US News:

Telling yourself that an angry person is just having a bad day and that it’s not about you can help take the sting out of their ire, a new study suggests.

This strategy of finding another way to regard an angry person is an approach commonly suggested in cognitive behavioral therapy. For example, you can tell yourself that the angry person has just lost his dog or received bad news and is taking it out on you.

Stanford University researchers conducted two experiments to examine the speed and efficiency of this process of reappraising others’ emotions… the researchers monitored participants’ brain activity and found that reappraising another person’s anger eliminated the electrical signals associated with negative emotions when seeing angry faces.

And:

“If you’re trained with reappraisal, and you know your boss is frequently in a bad mood, you can prepare yourself to go into a meeting,” Blechert suggested. “He can scream and yell and shout but there’ll be nothing.”

Here’s what I found interesting about this: it’s just a reversing of the fundamental attribution error.

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About Eric Barker