Here we want to discuss some very practical tips on how to manage your emotions as adapted from materials by Gary J. Oliver on Emotional Relational Intelligence (ERQ).  The first step is to take a time out. Don’t let emotions escalate to the point that people are no longer talking, screaming or ignoring each other. Step back and create space either PHYSICALLY or INTERNALLY .  Set a reasonable time limit (20 minutes) when both parties agree to reconvene. 


The next step may seem obvious, but is absolutely essential.  Remember to breathe. Whether you are happy, anxious, hurt, frustrated or fearful, focusing your attention on gradual, deep, even-paced breaths will relax your body (calms the nervous system) and clear your mind.   When your head is clear you are more able to see and choose the best response.


The third step is to identify what button got pushed in you.  What is it specifically that stirred the level of 

emotion that you are feeling.  Is it because someone made you feel like a failure?  Is it hurt?  Is it

frustration? Identify the CAUSE or the source of your feelings.

l  Could it be stress, anxiety or depression?

l  Low blood sugar?

l  Overworked?

l  Relationship problems at home?

l  A bad experience in the past (with this person or someone else) rather than something that is happening now?

l  Messed up travel plans?


Finally, choose to respond. The goal is to DEESCALATE your emotions and focus on being OPEN to the other person so that you RESPOND rather than react. How are you going to choose to INVEST the energy (e-motion)?  Individuals with who are able to manage their emotions have learned to take full personal responsibility for their FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, and ACTIONS (both verbally and non-verbally).  This takes strong self-awareness as well as an awareness of the emotions of others.


For more information on how to manage your emotions, or to schedule an appointment with Nathan Oliver or Amy Oliver, please contact us at