Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Don't Let Them Rattle You.



DANGER! RATTLESNAKES!
***This blog post is dedicated to that close childhood friend going through her own tough times, I hope this helps.

"Don’t let them rattle you. Don't let them see you sweat."

 

These are two sayings that we have all come to know but how to go about putting them into action? It's easier said than done. But with some hints and prior preparation, one can don that Teflon vest in face of adversity and get through those difficult situations and meetings.

 

A close friend of mine is going through a divorce. It hasn't gone smoothly for her. Imagine that. :(  I feel for her and sense her stress and anxiety each time a conference comes up with her ex. It's a shame but these conferences have to happen. I wanted to help her so I thought about the tense stressful conferences that I manage on a daily basis with my job. What advice could I impart to her?

 

My advice was to tell her don't let him rattle you. I guess it's not that easy but it's important that she stand her ground, stand firm to her beliefs, and in this important meeting, don't let her emotions get the best of her.

 

In my career as a domestic relations officer, I hold conferences about child support, spousal support, and other domestic relations issues involving children, relationships and family. I establish orders and if need be, I enforce them. I prefer not to go into too much detail about my job as obviously I have to safeguard my clients' privacy.

 

With that being said, my conferences can be very difficult. I am put into many situations where I can be potentially rattled by either an emotional or violent outburst. It is only after years of practicing my profession that I have been able to remain pretty calm, cool, and nonplussed even in these tense and stressful situations.

 

In this ridiculous election year, no matter whom you are voting for, each party has reduced themselves to try and rattle the other candidate during the televised debates. In the second debate, the Republican candidate Donald Trump attempted to rattle Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton with three women from former President Bill Clinton's past who accused him of sexual misconduct as well as a woman who was raped by a man that Hillary Clinton defended back in the '70s. Hillary Clinton was nonplussed by the move.

 

In the final debate, Hillary Clinton has invited two "true" billionaires (as she terms it) as her guests, Meg Whitman and Mark Cuban, to try and rattle Donald Trump, a billionaire who has refused to release his Federal taxes citing an IRS audit. Donald Trump has invited President Obama's half-brother, Malik Obama, as his guest to try and rattle Hillary Clinton. Malik Obama has Kenyan and US citizenship and switched his parties from Democrat to Republican over his disappointment with our current President's administration. I wonder who will be rattled? I'm sure both candidates have been schooled in keeping their cool (some better than others). It may sound cliché but it's appropriate to say that this entire election has certainly become a sad state of affairs.

 

So enough with examples. How do I keep from becoming rattled? Here are some tips that I use which I have found helpful during tense situations:

1. Pump yourself up prior to the meeting, Practice scenarios and the appropriately calm responses to intense questioning.

2. Put it into perspective; there are a lot worse things that could be happening to you at this point.

3. It's just words. I understand that words may be hurtful, but remember they are just words, nothing more, nothing less. You have the power to control your reaction to them. You can either let it rile you up or you can control the situation and remain calm in the face of adversity.

4. Focus on WHAT is being said and not HOW it is being said. It may be a condescending question or answer, but ignore that part of it. Answer the question, calmly, firmly, succinctly, and move on. Don't offer up any further info for the opposing party to latch onto.


5. Take a sip of water to collect your thoughts. Don't react immediately. Take a moment, think, and then state your rebuttal.

6. Don't lower yourself to their level. When they go low, you go high. (Hmm, where did that come from?) Using curse words or throwing verbal darts just exacerbates the situation and makes you look just as bad. Rise above them. (http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/michelle-obama-when-they-go-low-we-go-high)

7. Take a quick break if you have to. Leaving the room is another way to collect your thoughts. It helps defuse the situation and gives each party a bit of time to relax. I will excuse myself to make copies to get a breather, and then come back in, ready to continue and forge ahead.

8. Practice deep breathing. Do this before the event in the comfort of your own space. Think yoga, meditation, etc. This will help you keep your mind, emotions, and response in control when the situation becomes stressful and tense.

9. Your voice may quiver, your hands may shake. THIS IS NORMAL. Again, deep breathes to calm yourself.

 

And lastly, you can and will get through whatever stressful meeting, conference, or situation or you are. GOOD LUCK.




1 comment:

  1. Great advice! I need to use this just about every 30 seconds...

    ReplyDelete