Let us suppose that you are at a mediation or in some sort of negotiation and the other party has just said something that has gotten you so angry, you are ready to grab your belongings and storm out of the mediation/negotiation.
What should you do: give in to your feelings and storm out? Vent? Or, suppress them? It seems that none of the above is the appropriate response according to Psychology for Lawyers by Jennifer K. Robbennolt and Jean R. Sternlight (American Bar Association 2012)
Common sense tells us that in order to be an effective negotiator we must manage our emotions. We must exercise impulse control. We will get nowhere if we “fly off the handle” every time someone says something that gets us upset and thus distracts us from our goal: to settle the dispute.
So, do we vent? Not such a great idea! While it is a common belief that venting or blowing off steam will help calm us down or help us “get over it”, recent studies indicate just the opposite. That is, venting “…doesn’t help to moderate anger and may instead make things worse. …
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