How to Quickly De-Escalate Anger in Three Simple Steps
My podcast guest, Doug Noll, teaches how to de-escalate anger and conflict in three easy steps. I highly recommend you check this out.
My podcast guest, Douglas E. Noll is an expert at teaching people how to de-escalate anger. He’s a lawyer turned peacemaker. His calling is to serve humanity, and he executes his calling at many levels. Doug’s work carries him into many dark places. Using pragmatic and practical skills of peace, he helps people resolve deep interpersonal and ideological conflicts.
He is an award-winning author of three books, a teacher, speaker, and a trainer. We discussed his fourth book, De-Escalate: How to Calm an Angry Person in 90 Seconds or Less on episode #322: A Three Step Method to De-Escalate Anger With Doug Noll.
Highlights: How to Quickly De-Escalate Anger
NOTE: Listen to the beginning of the podcast to hear why Doug Noll left his successful law practice and became a peacemaker. Discover how he came up with his unique tools for de-escalating conflict. And listen to several inspirational stories about a lawsuit that was resolved through his technique, and the prisoners he has helped to de-escalate anger and violence.
What is the fastest way to de-escalate anger or conflict?
Label emotions with a simple ‘you’ statement.
When you use “I” statements (which are most commonly used in conflict resolution), it puts you on the speaker’s track (ie, it’s about YOU, not them), not the listener’s track. To be effective, use a simple “YOU” statement. For example, “You are angry, because you feel sad that there’s no one there to support you.”
Our culture diminishes emotions. We are uncomfortable with them, especially in the beginning of a relationship.
Then, use this three-step process to de-escalate anger:
1. Ignore the words for the next 90 seconds.
2. Pay attention to the emotions. We’re hard-wired for non-verbal communication, especially when emotional. It occurs much faster.
3. Guess the emotion. It’s usually obvious. “You’re pissed off.” Watch what happens. Then guess again, “You’re really frustrated.” Emotions come in six layers. Eventually, you get to the place where the speaker says, “Yeah, exactly!”
We’re validating at the deepest level of existence. You acknowledge them for who they are and what they’re experiencing.
When people get really emotional, they are unable to identify and label their emotions or think clearly. They can’t process their emotions.
When we ‘affect label’, we are helping them name their own feelings. We’re lending them our prefrontal cortex so they can process their emotions.
Incredible things happen to the one who’s angry and the listener. The listener becomes egoless. It’s a spiritual practice.
We’ve been taught to emotionally invalidate since we’re two years old. You scrape your knee, and you’re told, “Don’t be a sissy.” We should be training how to have control over emotional reactivity.
Over time, this invalidation causes cancer, addictive disorder, and so much more.
Teach others how to affect label you. “I’m feeling frustrated and nervous. Can you tell it back to me.”
You can’t be a mind reader in a relationship.
Many people have trouble knowing what they feel and need. How do you help people identify their needs?
After de-escalating, we work on naming more emotions. They eventually learn to affect-label themselves. They soon become aware of their emotional needs.
How can single women use this powerful technique to build a bond with a man quickly?
When she can label a man’s emotional experience, men start falling in love with her.
Go someplace where it’s socially low-risk, like Starbuck’s. Look at a stranger who’s in line or the barista. Ascertain their emotional experience. You can say something like, “You look excited to be here right now”. See if they light up. One simple validation is all it takes. The more you practice, the more natural it becomes.
Can you tell our audience about the free online master class you’re offering?
Go to dougnoll.com/stopanger. In this free 40-minute webinar, you’ll learn how Doug’s clients use the the new science of human behavior to de-escalate anger and verbal aggression.
- Learn more about my guest, Doug Noll, here. And don’t forget to buy his book, De-Escalate: How to Calm an Angry Person in 90 Seconds or Less.
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