Most people have to deal with at least one “irrational person” in their life. That is someone who often acts illogically or stupidly. If this person is an irascible boss, a fanatical friend or an emotionally voluble adolescent. Then, “It is not difficult for his behaviour to drag us to lose control”.
This is the opinion of Mark Goulston, a psychiatrist and professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA, USA) for 25 years. So, to preserve our health, it is necessary to know how to treat or combat these detestable behaviours that can alter our emotional balance. (Patience is never as important as when one is about to lose it).
HOW TO CONTROL IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR
People who behave frequently irrationally do not really want to bother or complicate their lives. Nor go crazy. They are only worried about their frustrations and needs. Therefore, to face their behaviors, avoid escalation of the conflict and stay calm, these is best guidelines to follow:
Pause : If you feel tense or angry at irrational behavior, do not say anything. He is not obliged to react immediately. Breath deeply. Inhale air and exhale slowly. This counteracts the impulse to react that causes anger or stress. Repeat: this is an opportunity to learn aplomb.
Listen without interrupting: Before an irrational verbal behavior, the first impulse is to cut the speech to shout that the reason is on our side.But interrupting alone intensifies hostility. Do not argue or try to convince your interlocutor. His interruption will not change anyone’s mind and only fuels the conflict. It is much easier for the other to change his way of acting than to think.
Use the imagination: Imagine the water of a river. Observe how the water does not stumble over the same stone over and over again, but flows around the obstacle it encounters. Similarly, do not resist the irrational force of your interlocutor. Let it flow through your body and mind without making a dent. “He who does not imagine is like the one who does not sweat, stores poison,” said Truman Capote.
Breathe to calm down: Think about the first thing you would like to say or do to an irrational person, but do not do it. Take a breath and slowly exhale the air. Focus on that.
There are many victims who suffer from these harmful personal relationships and believe it is possible to control irrational behaviour. When they have to face these situations they react automatically by becoming defensive or aggressive. And, they even try to change the irrational behaviour of such people by trying to make them see reason.
They try to make them see that their opinions or points of view are erroneous and absurd. But this strategy still makes things worse. In the words of Goulston, “instead of accepting our logic, the irrational person reacts even more irrationally and the situation can curl up on both sides towards a crazy discussion that leads nowhere”.
This way of approaching the problem is really frustrating, stressful and unproductive. None of these reactions produces satisfactory results. But most people do not know of another option.
However, trying to convince a person with irrational behaviour with arguments does not make sense because, from their point of view, their behaviour is rational. These types of people have thought patterns deeply rooted in their (in) consciousness. And their behaviour is a response to the threat they perceive when someone doubts or discusses his way of reasoning.
Surrendering is not a defeat …
An effective way to treat irrational people is the one proposed by clinical psychologist Judith Orloff, also a professor at UCLA: “Give up the need to control these difficult situations and forget that you can force someone to change. That is, to accept the irrational person as he is, especially if one has already tried to reverse his behavior and has not achieved anything positive. “
… is to be more tolerant
The attitude of giving up on changing irrational behaviors may seem to many people a symptom of surrender or weakness. But, contrary to what one might think, surrender is an active choice that life offers us.
An option to be more flexible and tolerant. See beyond what bothers or irritates us to discover that what suits us is to de-dramatize the irrational behavior of others so as not to lose our calm. As noted by British writer George Eliot , “the greatest strength to grow is our ability to choose.”
Similarly expressed Lauren Zander “If you have decided that person behaves badly, then it also must be able to give aversion he feels toward that person”, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA).
You do not necessarily have to make him your best friend, but by relaxing our point of view we can learn to tolerate that person’s irrational behaviour without having to suffer a nervous breakdown. This means ignoring its negative aspects and thinking of something positive that it may have.