We've all had moments where a discussion is poised on the brink of an argument. Do we really want to go there? If not, we might think about the future. Thinking about the future helps us take a step back from the emotional conflict moment, and place negative events in context (Tweet it!).
Writing about his own study in the Harvard Business Review Alex C. Huynh, a social psychology researcher at the University of Waterloo, Canada, says, “We found that participants who thought about the future expressed [cognitive reasoning strategies versus impulsive emotion] more than those who were focused on the present moment.”
What psychologists are verifying is something long known to philosophers. As Confucius said, “When anger rises, think of the consequences.” Imagine what the conflict might mean to you in a week, a month, a year.”
What strategies do you use to try to defuse an argument? Do you ever find yourself considering the future? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around communication mastery, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion.