TikToker Josh Helms (@shuahel) is a teacher and multi-hyphenated artist who frequently shares comedic musings from his daily life. Recently, Helms posted a video where he describes a conflict resolution method he learned during his educator training “primarily for dealing with angry parents.”
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Before going into further detail, Helms warns that “if you’re looking for a way to be aggressive back to people, this is not your thing.” The practice is passive, peaceful and, “very waterbender.”
To “redirect lightning,” it’s important to remember that most of the time when dealing with an angry person, that person has “had time to think and overthink and justify their rage, so it’s just been building up inside of them, and it must be released.”
“So your first priority, when they’re throwing all of that electricity and lightning at you, is you have to let them get it ALL out,” Helms instructs.
When things get “mean and aggressive,” Helms reiterates that no matter what, “always avoid reacting.” Instead, “strive to respond.”
As for the “re-direction,” once the agitated individual has unloaded their thoughts and feelings, you are going to repeat what they said, “very thoughtfully, peacefully, calmly, and then you finish with the phrase, ‘That’s what you’ve said, is that what you meant?’”
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Because as it turns out, once most people “have their mean aggressive rudeness stated back to them in a calm, peaceful tone, they have second thoughts about it,” says Helms.
He then mentions to always end with the hopeful phrase, “I want to work through this with you, and I believe we can,” before laying down the facts of the situation.
Helms says the key takeaway when dealing with conflict is to not give in to your emotional reactions because “to bend another’s energy, your own spirit must be unbendable.”
Keeping cool in times of stress is not only a valuable skill for issues inside the classroom, but it’s also beneficial for disagreements outside in the real world. No matter what, there will always be situations that bother us, but taking the time to respond and not react is definitely a great skill for all of us to practice!
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