The set is a taped seminar that is geared towards managing conflict, anger, and emotion. It deal with interactions in the workplace, but the concepts can be used in any situation.
It’s about dealing with anger, yours and others. We can’t control others but we can control how we respond to them.
Anger is natural yet needs to be managed by getting direct control over it. “Managing” would refer to long term olutions. “Coping” would be short term. I myself would put “managing” into work, family, and social situations where you have a history of behavior to work with and a desire to maintain a relationship. “Coping” is what one deals with in the transient hostile situation, i.e. verbal or physical threats that require immediate response and resolution.
A basic concept is to move away from both passive and aggressive towards the assertive role. In my view, one aspect of being assertive, “demonstrating caring about the other person” may not apply in a short term, hostile situation.
Stress is evidenced by: a sense of hostility towards someone, a fight or flight response, or risky behavior such as reacting without thinking.
The stress, (which could be anger, fear, surprise), arises out of an event, that causes an emotional trigger that we may perceive a certain way based on our own experience. We have control over the stress by how we react.
Our reaction or behavior can be used to maintain control. Focus on the positive, not negative. Focusing on issues, not personalities, focus on facts, not emotions, lowering the volume, these all serve to de-escalate. Focus on what you have control over and what you want the outcome to be. My read on that is: if you wish the outcome of a confrontation to be a lasting relationship, focus on methods to accomplish this; make a connection, show empathy etc. If you want the outcome to be the other guy writhing in on the ground in pain, focus on what you can control to accomplish that.
The strategies outlined are good to a point and will probably be sufficient in a great many confrontations. In fact, one source of further reading in the accompaning pamphlet is Susette Haden Elgin’s “Success With the Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense”. The problem with dealing with confrontation with verbal responses only is that we condition ourselves to become adept at the verbal only. There may come a time when the conflict reaches a point where negotiation has ended and a genuine need to survive arises. This is where the martial side of self-defense come in. Total self defense comes from programming a complete set of responses, verbal and physical.