Here are some words that come to us from a very smart man who lived 2500 years ago. In situations where there is conflict, it is one of the greatest challenges to remain calm. Trust me, I know this personally. When you feel you have been wronged, or someone has violated a principle that is near and dear to your heart, it would be extremely unlikely to avoid emotions entering into the situation. The benefits of limiting emotional aspects of any conflict should be relatively obvious. I think the quote from the Taoist master above is easy to understand, but very difficult to put into action. One of the things that could help us stay calm in the face of conflict is to remember the why the conflict exists to begin with.
Have you ever been arguing with someone so long, that you can’t even remember what the point of the disagreement is all about? I think a good amount of us can say we have fallen into that situation at least once in our lives. In a relationship that has not evolved, the goal can feel like it is to hurt the person who hurt you. While this may seem like a good idea at the moment, seldom is that really the solution. It is 100% certain it will not feel good in the long term. I find asking yourself, “What is the reason I am so upset?” throughout the argument will help keep you on track. An even better question to ask is, “What is the solution I hope to have with this disagreement?” This not only helps you stay calm, but keeps you solution oriented. Asking, “How can I use this disagreement to create a new sense of closeness and growth?” can be a very empowering question.
It can also be a little selfish to remain calm. The one who is the calmest usually can steer the conversation and resulting actions in the direction they choose. While the party ruled by emotion is usually in a state of reaction, the one who is calm can operate from a state of action. Trust the words of a 2500 year-old wise man. Next time you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of a disagreement, ask yourself one of the empowering questions to remain calm.