Conflict Management: The Calming Effect of Your Voice

English: The Big Show arguing with referee Sco...Lowering your voice can be the best way to respond when someone is yelling at you. Because we tend to mirror each others behavior, lowering your voice often has a calming effect on the person listening to you. Calmness, like enthusiasm, is contagious.

Lowering your voice during a conflict can de-escalate the tension and allow you to move from an argument to a rational discussion.

People usually raise their voice hoping to make you listen to them. We mirror them by raising our voice. The result is more anger and less reasoning.  Anger has its place. Usually, however, it results in hostility, wasted energy and damaged relationships. It distorts our thoughts, causing us to focus on and exaggerate the negatives in a situation.*

The next time you face hostility, try lowering your voice. It’s a rewarding feeling to see someone calm down as a result.

* Burns, D. 1999. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Harper; Reprint edition (October 1, 1999). See page 160

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© 2011 – 2012, Tracy McBroom. All rights reserved.

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