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Controlling and managing your emotions is one of the most valuable skills there is. It reduces the chance of you saying and/or doing something often ‘out of character’ that you almost always instantly regret.

This linguistic trick identified in the excellent PsyBlog website blog helps you in managing your emotions by “de-personalising” them.

The blog reports the results of a recent study by Ariana Orvell, a Doctoral Candidate in Social Psychology, University of Michigan published in the journal Science (Orvell et al, 2017). The study found that when people use the word “you” when they really mean “I” it helps distance themselves from negative emotional experiences by expressing a universal, shared experience.

Ms Orvell explains:

“For example, the expression “you win some, you lose some” probably means the person has failed, but that it could happen to anyone. The pronoun, therefore, helps you to feel better about the experience.

When people use “you” to make meaning from negative experiences, it allows them to ‘normalise’ the experience and reflect on it from a distance. Or saying that ‘when you are angry, you say and do things that you will most likely regret’ might actually explain a personal situation, but the individual attempts to make it something many people relate to.”

Ms Orvell concludes:

“We suspect that it’s the ability to move beyond your own perspective to express shared, universal experiences that allows individuals to derive broader meanings from personal events.”

Read published article

Back to me and I agree with Ms Orvell about the value of adopting a circuit breaker that turns the emotional response into a controlled one. Ms Orvell has suggested one way of achieving this and another way could be using a default phrase like “I understand what you are saying” to give yourself a few seconds more time to regain control.

Its different for everyone of course and so you have to find out what emotional circuit breaker works for you.

Original Post from Mental Toughness Partners