This tool is more about your relationship with yourself than it is with another person. You have to be able to recognize your feelings and honor them in order to make this tool useful.

When you are interacting with someone and you notice you’re being defensive or anxious to the point where you may be triggered, acknowledge it. Let the other person know that you need to stop the argument (see tool 2.7).  If they are able to be empathetic, then they may try to understand and help you. However, if they are on the verge of being triggered, too, then it will be best for both people to separate until you are both calm.

It may be a good idea to have phrases memorized to have at the ready, so you don’t have to worry about what to say when you feel your emotions getting away from you. Ideas include: