Who likes getting their buttons pushed?
Neither do I. I hate it.
But... it’s inevitable. Unless we take a vow of silence and go live in a cave in the wilds of Tibet, we’re going to run into sticky situations with the people in our lives. I would personally rather deal with conflict like an adult than fly off the handle every time someone moves my cheese.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Marcia Haber, a generous and warm soul and the CEO of a company called Think Cool Conflict. Marcia is an expert in teaching people how to communicate effectively and navigate the hot buttons and trouble spots that can occur within all relationships. Marcia is also an avid tea lover, and we hit it off right away! I interviewed her in order to introduce her to you, because she has so much to share.
So, without further ado…
Marcia Haber, of Think Cool Conflict
Kita: Marcia, can you tell me a little bit about what you do?
Marcia: We work with individuals and businesses who struggle with having a voice to express their ideas in a safe place to grow and thrive. At Think Cool Conflict, we believe that every person yearns to be seen, heard, and valued. Our specialty is to provide unique healthy conflict learning and coaching to overcome being “stuck” in situations, and to move toward fulfillment of what matters most to each person we work with.
Kita: Wow, that’s pretty powerful work. A lot of my customers come in to the store looking for a tea to help them deal with stress that’s caused by conflicts with a spouse or family member, or drama with their bosses or co-workers. Drinking relaxing teas can definitely help the person feel calm, but do you have any tips on how someone can go deeper? Not just feel better in the moment but actually learn how to communicate their needs more effectively?
Marcia: Absolutely. The first thing would be to identify and de-fuse their hot buttons. Each person is going to be different, but in general, a hot button is anything another person says or does that triggers an intense emotion such as stress, frustration, upset, or anger in you.
Kita: That’s a great description. Most of us know when something pushes our buttons, but don’t really know how to stay calm when triggered. How do you coach your clients to deal with this?
Marcia: It’s very important to cultivate what’s called a growth mindset. Here are some of the most important things to know:
- Conflict in life is inevitable. Each person has his or her own needs, goals, and interests based on how they view the world around them.
- Conflict in itself is neither good nor bad. It’s what we do when conflict happens that determine a positive or negative outcome.
- Each person has the power to choose the focus of their thinking.
- When you feel a hot button getting triggered, grant yourself some grace and remember, you’re human.
- The main key is to avoid saying or doing anything while you’re triggered. Practice delaying your response until you can cool down and think straight.
Kita: Cooling down when you’re triggered can sometimes feel impossible. What are some easy ways to cool down?
Marcia: Here are four techniques that are fast and effective.
- Think of three words that inspire you that you can say to yourself as a mantra when you get triggered. Professional athletes, pilots, and first responders use this technique (called an anchor) to cool down a hot button. For example, you can think Happy Day, Hooray! For me, I think of what my son used to say when he was little when he woke up: “Mommy, mommy, it’s the day!” What three words make you smile?
- Sip a lovely cup of tea. Let your mind calm as you inhale the fragrant scent of your tea. Slowly taste the delicious flavor. As you experience the pleasure, it helps restore your thinking brain again.
- Take a walk outside and look at the cloud formations in the sky.
Kita: Yes, definitely breathe! I like how you include drinking tea as a cool down technique, because it really is effective. When you engage your physical senses, it helps to ground you in the moment and in your body, and helps to de-fuse strong emotions.
Marcia: Exactly. And once you’ve cooled your hot button and allowed your thinking brain to recover, you can reflect on what you really want for yourself in life, and think about the best next steps to help you achieve it.
Kita: That sounds so… adult! When I first started on my own path to healing, my mentor, who was a Native American healer, taught me how to burn sage and cedar during times of stress and conflict in order to help keep the energy flowing toward a positive resolution for everyone involved. I suppose you could consider that to be the original aromatherapy. I still do that! I even burn sage when I’m having a difficult phone conversation.
Marcia: Do you have specific teas that you can recommend for stressed out situations?
Kita: Although we have lots of teas that can help you feel more at peace, the most effective teas are
- Anxiety Relief, when you really feel stress and panic in your body
- Daily Calm, when you’ve been under stress for a long time and need something you can drink on a daily basis to rebuild your sense of inner peace
- Happy Place is perfect when you feel sad, as the refreshing citrus is a natural antidepressant
- Joyful Garden, which is uplifting to the spirit and gently calming to the nerves
What’s your favorite tea, Marcia?
Marcia: Happy Place!
Kita: How can people reach you to learn more?
Marcia: You can visit our website at thinkcoolconflict.com. You can also email me at Marcia@thinkcoolconflict.com, or call me at 310-377-7624. We have lots of resources and offer a free 20 minute call if you’re ready to dig in and move forward in your personal growth.
If you found this helpful, please share it with anyone you know who can benefit!