How to keep your cool when everyone else is losing theirs

Everyone has strong opinions and you can find those opinions everywhere, on Facebook, on the news, in stores, and any place else that people are out and about. However, you will succeed if you learn to keep your cool.

Just like the elections, the tempers are heated and passions are flying. But all this makes it hard to focus on the things you need to do. Some people thrive on conflict and some people would rather have none.

The bigger picture when you argue

In any case, you need to see a bigger picture when you decide you bring your opinions to light. If you are one of those who delights in tearing down anyone whose opinion is different than you and loudly voicing your anger, you are sure to find people who disagree with you.

Remember that the same people who you currently disagree with could be your clients, your customers, the person sitting next to you in church, your next employer, your donor, or a potential referral source.

Tips to keep your cool

  1. Keep your voice level down — loud angry voices tend to build an angry response.
  2. Watch what you share on social media. If your goal is to be a ramble-rouser or political commentator as an occupation, fine, but if you have a business to run, a job search in the process, or a product to sell, remember who could be listening.
  3. When in conversation, don’t attack the person. Just because someone disagrees with you or has a different opinion doesn’t give you person to call names. Respect goes much further than disrespect.
  4. When you have nothing nice to say… There are times it is just better to be quiet. If you feel very strongly, find ways to make a positive difference.
  5. See if you can find common ground. You may disagree in one area but not in all of them so see if you can work out your differences.

I am not saying you should never stand up for what you believe in, I just think that there are better ways to handle conflict than others. Learn more


  1. Mark Harai on February 21, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Julie!

    Opinions are one thing – stupid behavior is quite another. It serves no purpose, other than to digress the serious issues at hand.

    Progress is hard to accomplish with a who’s right, who’s wrong approach to issues. More often than not, both sides of an argument possess solid ideas and insight to resolve them.

    The reason I like the picture you chose to illustrate your point in this post is it’s precisely the image that formulates in my mind when I see people acting in like manner.

    It’s time for grown-ups to grow up…

    • Julie Walraven on February 21, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks, Mark! I appreciate your wisdom! My thoughts with the photo too… 🙂

  2. Melissa Cooley on February 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Great tips, Julie. And if all else fails, remove yourself from the situation. Far better for people to give you an odd look because you walk away than for you to blurt out something that could negatively impact you in the future.

    • Julie Walraven on February 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      Good point, Melissa. I think many times, we are removed today. Social media opened a whole new can of worms when it comes to how your comments can be read easily and you may not even be aware of it. Unfortunately, those same comments may stick with someone for a long time and potentially ruin other productive relationships.

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