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The Mirror Technique: Dealing with Angry People

Virtually all people will agree that dealing with an angry person is an extremely unpleasant circumstance. However, when you're vulnerable on an emotional level, the interaction can be even more challenging- you may actually become physically ill, manifesting symptoms of stress like nausea and fatigue. It is almost as if the bully is "stealing your energy".

If you can, avoid such persons. However, sometimes this is just not possible. One technique which may help is the Mirror Technique.

If you observe children on a playground, you may see one child being mean to another. You might see the recipient respond, in a tart manner, "right back at you" and walk away, unscathed. That response reflects the technique.

Visualize a mirror materializing in front of you, when you deal with a negative individual. Imagine the sarcastic comment flying off their tongue bouncing off the mirror and falling to the floor. It cannot even touch you. If you allow yourself to be emotionally "sucked in" to a conversation where you are the scapegoat, no meditative technique will help. Therefore, the trick is staying calm and focused.

Try practicing the technique before you enter a situation where you anticipate negative emotions to be directed at yourself. Visualize yourself facing off, and staying calm.

A few tips which may also help:

  • Meet the nasty individual on neutral territory, and preferably in a locale where other persons are around. This will help to diffuse any aggressive issues.
  • If you have to communicate with the nasty individual, prepare in advance for the communications. Keep the other party directed on the topic that must be resolved.
  • Speaking in a low, calm voice and making occasional eye contact will establish that you are in command of the situation.
  • If the other party begins to fly off the handle, you might try distraction. This minor technique that works on small children, may also work on immature adults.
  • Finally, do not enter a situation if you feel physically unsafe. If you must enter into an unsafe place, for example, if you have to retrieve possessions from your ex-boyfriend's house and you are scared of him, contact a police officer to accompany you on this trip.