If someone is upset with you …

Asked of me on Quora today: If you sense someone is angry and is going to hold a grudge instead of acknowledging it, what can you do to reconcile?


My Answer:

What’s needed is what I like to call: Deep Listening.

People get upset when they feel their communication is being impeded or prevented.

You may not specifically be making it hard for them to express themselves – it may be their own shyness or awareness of the social unacceptability of what they want to express to you that is making them feel that way. Nevertheless, the frustration of the situation will get projected onto you one way or the other.

Basically, to clear the upset, you have to get the “uncommunicated” communicated. Make it safe for them to express what they want you to know and the grudge will suddenly or gradually dispel.

You might say something disarming like: Help me out here, there’s obviously something I’m not getting. What do you feel I should know?

You don’t have to agree with it, but you do have to make it clear that you have truly understood their point of view. Then the upset will dissipate. And try not to do it while others are observing, which might make it more difficult for the person to speak up.

For a deeper understanding, check out this talk by Prof Needleman of SFU:

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Posted October 1, 2016 at 4:18 pm by Gus Griffin · Permalink
In: Misc