6 ways to stay regulated in a difficult conversation

While having a difficult conversation, we may feel a surge of emotions. Sometimes negative emotions can be very difficult to deal with, and that can make us fall prey to unhealthy communication patterns. “Consistent emotional regulation contributes to the building of trust and respect in relationships. When others see that you can manage your emotions and communicate assertively, it creates a sense of reliability in your relationship. This is a foundational skill for healthy assertive communication. It supports clear expression, reduces reactivity, creates empathy, and contributes to positive relationship dynamics,” wrote Therapist Israa Nasir. “Emotional regulation helps you manage impulsive reactions and responses. It allows you to pause, reflect, and choose a thoughtful response instead of reacting emotionally in the heat of the moment. People who can regulate their emotions are better equipped to navigate challenging conversations with confidence and effectiveness,” she further added.

6 ways to stay regulated in a difficult conversation(Unsplash)

Clarify the intention: It is important to clarify our intentions of having the conversation in the first place. Be it for exchange of emotions, or sharing our perspective, we should be able to get into the conversation with a specific intention in mind.

Emotional triggers: We should be aware of the things that can emotionally trigger us, and we should be able to manage our responses to keep the conversation healthy.

Focus on the present: Often conversations can become toxic when we keep bringing up things from the past. Focusing on the present matter can help us to effectively work together in finding solutions.

Take a break: If the conversation becomes too intense or difficult to deal with, we should take a break and come back to it later with more clarity.

Focus on senses: We should be aware of the physical sensations – focusing on them will help us to stay grounded and keep the nervous system calm and relaxed.

Reminders: We should be able to remind ourselves to stay calm and use calming statements to make the mind and body know that they are in a safe space.

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