When having an argument with someone, it can be very hard to prevent overreacting. This is even more difficult if the fight is with someone you love and emotional tensions are running high.
However, reacting too strongly to something that was said or done can make the situation worse than ever by causing even more misunderstandings. Mantras, or phrases you repeat to yourself, can help you stay levelheaded when the pressure is on. As a result, you might be able to prevent overreaction, and you could even stave off arguments before they start. Keep reading to learn 10 must-know mantras to keep in the back of your mind for when you need them most.
1. Don’t Let Drama Dictate Your Life
Sometimes the smallest things can seem like huge obstacles in your life. This mantra should help bring your perspective back to a reasonable place by reminding you that drama is something that shouldn’t define your life. If it does, you’ll likely be prone to a lot more stress, and not just stress that stems from arguments. When drama starts to come to the forefront, force yourself to push it back and stay focused on keeping a cool head and responding as calmly as you can in the moment.
2. Let Things Happen As They Will
Many arguments start due to a perceived loss of control. However, it’s important to keep in mind how most of the things within our control are just illusions. Usually, we can’t control things, and they merely happen as they will and should be allowed to do so. This mantra could encourage you to relinquish control and remember that as much as you would like to exert pressure over every nuance of your life to make things work out well, that’s not a realistic goal. People often experience great struggles when they realize how little control they actually possess, but if possible, try to cultivate a sense of refreshing freedom from that realization.
3. You Alone Are In Control Of Your Emotions
Arguments can cause powerful emotions to get stirred up inside of us. However, it’s crucial to remember that you’re solely in control over how those emotions get expressed, or if they ever do at all. Depend on this mantra to remind yourself that no matter how much you care for the person you’re arguing with, he or she can’t exert total control over your emotions; the other person can only influence them if you allow it to happen. You may want to spend some periodic solitary time each day or each week learning to regulate your emotions and understand what you’re truly feeling. That way, when you’re dealing with an argument, it should be easier to stay in control of what you’re feeling.
4. Don’t Reciprocate Hatefully In Response To Hate
In the midst of an argument, it can be extremely tempting to let your temper flare and your anger rage. However, you can recall this mantra to realize that it’s almost never beneficial to respond to hatred with hate of your own. Instead, take a deep breath and try to achieve inner calmness. Think carefully about the words that you say afterward because they can have lasting, harmful effects. It’s never wise to stoop to the level of someone who is acting out of hatred.
5. Let Go And Accept
Maybe an argument has started over something about your partner that really annoys you. This mantra should serve as a good reminder that although you may like to, it’s not possible to change other people. They alone have to make decisions to change and come to them on their own terms. Just as another person can influence your emotions but not totally control them, you might encourage someone to adopt a new habit, but you can’t force the change to happen. Being willing to accept people just as they are could help you let go of pent-up anger.
6. Find Kindness Deep Inside
When you’re fighting with someone, it can be extremely hard to remember to treat them with kindness. However, going above and beyond to do just that could keep anger from getting out of hand. You’ll likely have to reach deep inside yourself to find some kindness, but your willingness to at least make that effort could be extremely useful. That’s especially true if the other person isn’t treating you kindly at all. When you treat someone in a way that they do not deserve, the effects can be surprising and may even diffuse the argument altogether.
7. Reach A Point Of Understanding
Sometimes it’s simply not possible to come to an agreement after an argument. It’s even more unlikely if the people involved have very strong opinions and reasons for why they feel certain ways and believe specific things. However, this mantra could spur you to at least reach some common ground and, if necessary, agree to disagree. Strive to listen to what’s being said as part of an opposing viewpoint, and give the person responsible for it the time to really help you understand what’s on his or her mind.
8. Overthinking Is Not Helpful
In many cases, overthinking is what causes people to overreact. Out of a desire to make sense of what’s going on, they carefully analyze things and frequently come to conclusions that only exist in their heads and aren’t verbally expressed to the other person. Instead of thinking at length about what a person must have meant by saying something specific, ask him or her directly for clarification. That sort of first-hand insight should help you nip overthinking in the bud and stay calmer in the end.
9. Don’t Make Snap Judgments
Judging people is often an automatic response that we give because we don’t understand things about them. Unfortunately though, snap judgments that are based on few or no facts can make people blow up and feel extremely hurt. Similarly, don’t assume you know everything about a given situation without asking the other person first. It takes time and effort to learn where the other person stands, but having that knowledge could be extremely valuable.
10. Clear Communication Is Key
Good communication is a necessary ingredient for any healthy relationship, whether it’s one between friends, coworkers or romantic partners. Furthermore, a lack of clear communication can be a motivating factor – and in some cases, the only factor – that causes people to overreact and argue. Always aim to communicate as well as you can, including by showing a willingness to slow down and explain things in more detail when necessary.
Hopefully you’ll find these mantras useful the next time you feel tempted to overreact or start an argument. They’re short, but hopefully they will help you call to mind some of the most important principles to rely upon when dealing with other people.