Difficult Conversations: Anger = Faking calm (Kai’s story)

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Anger is a common reaction to difficult conversations. Anger can look like defiance, complaining, criticalness.

Anger's energy often flows in two directions: Inwards or Outwards (this occurs both in them and in you).

  • They feel anger and lash (outward) = You overcompensate and fake calm (inwards) --> Kai's story
  • They feel anger and blame themselves (inwards) = You get confused and try to cajole (inwards) --> Nicole's story

In a shared space, few people are given the time and permission to experience anger for as long as they need.  In each of the above situations, the goal is always the same. LET THEM FEEL THE ANGER

Note: The priority is always your physical, mental and emotional safety. Only engage and support another's anger if you feel safe.

Anger is a sign of a boundary being crossed. Any supportive moves you do need to validate this boundary. Validation reduces any secondary feelings of attack or isolation the other person experiencing.


Let's unpack Kai's reaction to anger with faking calmness. Kai is startled by the anger. His energy goes inwards and he tries to overcompensate his anxiety by faking a calmness. The unspoken message Kai sends is 'Your anger is not legitimate. I'm going to ignore it'.

Keeping true to Kai's existant habit of directing energy inwards, he leverages himself as an emotional absorber, a conduit. He imagines the red energy of anger flowing through him and into the ground. Visualization is very helpful here anger is a powerful force that demands attention. Subtle grounding tactics like feeling the ground may be too quiet in the face of loud anger. 

When Kai feels grounded and steady with the red energy flowing through, he can start using validation statements to support his boss' crumbling boundary. These are validation sentences send the message, "I'm here. You are not alone. I accept you just as you are."

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