How To Stay Calm When Someone Hits A Nerve

How To Stay Calm When Someone Hits A Nerve

At times, work can be a highly charged place.

  • A missed deadline
  • An unpaid invoice
  • An unhappy client
  • A partner who isn’t on the same page
How To Stay Calm When Someone Hits A Nerve

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Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions in both yourself and others.

Sometimes, this is easier said than done.

When our buttons have been pushed, or there is a lot on the line, it is difficult to remain composed and keep the line of communication open.

How can we harness our Emotional Intelligence in these difficult situations?


Have a plan in place before an uncomfortable conversation or a charged meeting.

Play out possible scenarios and come up with a response for each. 

Be Alert

Your body will let you know when something has an emotional charge for you.

Your breathing becomes shallower.

You can feel your heart beat faster.

Butterflies start fluttering in your stomach.

This is your cue to identify and acknowledge the feelings that are arising so they don’t take over.


Watch others to see what emotions and feelings they’re bringing to the table.

Be on the lookout for facial expressions and body language, and listen to the tone of voice or awkward pauses.

Take in the energy of the room (or video call).

This can help foster understanding and openness.  


Don’t allow your ‘fight or flight’ response to take over.

Put some space between the trigger and your response. Don’t press send.

Or, if the meeting is in person, ask questions and gather more information.

It not only makes people feel heard – it also buys you extra time to compose yourself.

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