When it comes to your mental health, it all boils down to one thing: How you react to situations. For example, when people succeed in “pushing your buttons” - you can feel a loss of self-esteem. You can feel victimized. Responding thoughtfully and calmly helps you stay centered - so you hold onto your power. You probably know someone who regularly flies off the handle. Well, psychologists agree that mature adults learn to respond intelligently instead of reacting in a knee-jerk way to people and problems. When someone freaks out or gets overly emotional in a conversation simply means they haven’t matured. If you find yourself in the line of fire, here are some tips that’ll help. We got these from the American Psychological Association’s website.

  • Speak your emotions. For example, say, “I’m frustrated by the way you’re speaking to me.”
  • Ask questions. You might say, “Can you tell me why you’re so upset?” or “Is there anything I can do to fix this? I’d like to move forward.”
  • Confess your sins. If your boss accuses you of laziness – and she’s right - you might say, “I haven’t been on top of this project. I was focused on other things. I’ll pick up the pace.” This helps diffuse the tension because you’re agreeing with them on some level.
  • Use “we” language. Tell the other person, “We can work this out.” This puts you on the same team - versus taking sides.
Remember, when you get frustrated by someone else’s actions or attitude, don’t let your own emotions escalate. Reacting strongly throws you into a child’s role. You become defenseless and wind up draining your own batteries. However, responding well under pressure helps you maintain control over a situation. If you stay calm, you ensure that other people – like that loudmouth screaming his head off - will have to respect you.