HELP! Im Working with a Baby!!
Did you know that more than half of our adult population has an anger problem? Have you experienced them? They act all flustered and pitch a fit. Can you believe it that some of them actually throw things when they get mad? And not only that, they cuss up a storm, rant and rave, and carry on like they are a child.
We all have probably experienced people like this on occasion. But what about the people who do this on a regular basis? How do we manage them? How can we confront them in the office space? What if this person is our boss or our partner? We know that they need anger management or counseling, but babies don't have the ability to see that about themselves. Perhaps passing them this article will help you along!
Okay you people who have an anger issue.. listen up!!! You can't physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys you; laws, social norms and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take all of us us.
According to my research, "People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their angry feelings. The three main approaches are expressing, suppressing and calming.
Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive - not aggressive - manner is the healthiest way to express anger. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn't mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others.
Anger can be suppressed, and then converted or redirected. This happens when you hold in your anger, stop thinking about it and focus on something positive. The aim is to inhibit or suppress your anger and convert it into more constructive behaviour. The danger in this type of response is that if the anger isn't allowed an outward expression, it can turn inward - on yourself. This may cause hypertension (high blood pressure) or depression.
Unexpressed anger can create other problems. It can lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behaviour (getting back at people indirectly, without telling them why, rather than confronting them head-on) or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile. People who are constantly putting others down, criticising everything and making cynical comments haven't learned how to constructively express their anger. Not surprisingly, they aren't likely to have many successful relationships.
Finally, you can calm yourself down inside. This means not just controlling your outward behaviour but also controlling your internal responses, taking steps to lower your heart rate, calm yourself down and let the feelings subside." (resource - internet)
If you are a person who is working with a BABY, perhaps you'll start by having a short conversation just explaining that sometimes he/she is somewhat difficult to talk with because they get so frustrated and act out. Sometimes just calmly stating a fact can be less intimidating than a formal "lets talk about something" kind of meeting.
One client recently was asked by his partner why one of the associates didn't call her directly. He explained to her that she had a tendency to go overboard with stress and neither had the time to deal with her drama at the moment so she was bypassed in the decision making moment.
Because the conversation took on a sort of apologetic tone, yet, was also explaining the situation, the partner seemed to GET it, that her outbursts had caused more stress on others and not just herself. For the next week, my client has noticed that his partner hasn't stressed openly and has seemed to get a hold on her anger.
Since my client is on a friendly basis with his partner, I've given him some exercises to help his partner get to the root of her anger. While I'm not a therapist, and neither is my client, there are a few exercises that aren't so intimidating to a person who is willing to explore the original source of their anger.
When the person is obviously upset, ask them to calm down and sit down and agree to talk about it. You can say, "You're obviously upset. Let's sit down and discuss what our options are, and just tell me everything".
Don't argue. Don't talk back. Don't disagree. Just listen. Take notes if you can and just listen intently with your eyes. Try to understand. This is what the person needs, to be understood.
When they are through, ask questions. Ask specific questions to get clarity on the situation. Let them talk until they are through.
Take a minute before you answer. Think about what you are going to say. Start by acknowledging their feelings such as, "I understand why you are so upset. I'm sorry that you are upset. Let me see if I understand how you feel." Now, read back what you wrote down so they know you understand.
Now, go through your side of the story. (Hopefully without interruptions). Don't yell or be confrontational. Just explain the other side of the story.
Be careful to pause between listening and talking. Pausing is a great indicator of being thoughtful about what you are listening to and saying. It is a great communication tool!
Regardless of the outcome, you've now coached your partner through being able to explain their side of the story without completely exploding. Practice makes perfect. Tell them that they did a good job. Endorse good behavior and encourage them.
Working with a baby is a hardship on many. If you have the guts or the power to tell the person to go get THERAPY, then do it. If that isn't a possibility, then learning to coach them through dealing with their own emotions may be a logical next step. It's going to take some energy on your part, but it might save your work environment in the long run.
Having difficult conversations are somewhat stressful, so having a coach to help you through it might be a good next step for you. We can work together to help your partner mature into a thriving adult who expresses his/her feelings in a healthy way.
I don't know about you, but I think it sounds fun! So don't cry about it! Just give me a call!
To learn more about Mary go to: www.marygardner.com/" target="_blank">http://www.marygardner.com/
Mary Gardner is an Executive Communications Consultant and Coach. She works with, coaches and trains individuals, sales teams, executives, and celebrities. She enjoys seeing the best come out in people and has fun in the process. Mary is married to Sway and is mommy to Jeremy 5 and lives in Orlando, FL.