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The real, naked reason people get upset is…

The real, naked reason people get upset is…

Time to Read: 72 secs 
The real, naked reason people get upset is…That something they need to happen, want to happen or expect to happen, hasn’t.Find out what that something is, and you avoid an argument, the upset evaporates and you and they can have a proper conversation.Far more effective than:

  • Telling someone to “calm down” (they will do the opposite)
  • Getting upset as well (unless you enjoy that, of course)

And possibly the worst of them all:

  • Rushing in with a quick fix (good luck with that one)

So, what to do:

  1. Change their state – move out of the room, have a coffee, or gently touch their elbow and say something like ‘Sorry to stop you mid flow (name) – before you tell me about it are you ok if we have steak for dinner?’( or something else!) After such an intervention, they won’t be able to recreate the state they were in before (and won’t quite know why).
  2. Listen to them – really listen – and then repeat back what they have said, to show understanding.
  3. Listen for a key word in a phrase – e.g. “All I want is to be appreciated’ and then ask ‘what kind of appreciated?’ (Or key word).
  4. Repeat 2 and 3 as often as needed and you will get to the root cause behind the upset – what they needed, wanted or expected to happen.
  5. And then you can either help it happen, explain why it can’t happen or say you will think about it.

Why does this work?

Because people want to feel valued, respected, listened to – and this is actually more important than always getting their own way.

Hey, don’t believe me – go do it…

With my love and best wishes


Please share your experiencesin the comments below

16 Responses to The real, naked reason people get upset is…

  1. I agree. We are all crystal clear what we think and clear about how something has made us feel but we are not so quick to understand the other person. I run training sessions on personal effectiveness, the hardest behaviour change is that of understanding, we are ready with an answer, a response. I’m going through a divorce at the moment and actually here is the greatest example of not listening, there are thousands of us split couples looking to get resolution, but we are not listening, we are only speaking. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to next weeks

    • Thank you Tom – as I know from first experience divorce is an excellent time to truly listen – thank you for sharing David x

  2. David , That’s so great … If you are the other person, how do you communicate to someone you don’t need a debate or a fix the issue , just an appreciative word or acknowledgement of appreciation, it’s a frequent question I receive from the highest of levels.
    What is the naked take on this as it’s flipping …. the above I guess.

    • Thank you Claire – As you say, how can you know what someone is thinking/wanting/needing without doing these uncommon sense things? By the way, I wish I had known this stuff 20 years ago! David x

  3. You have to be flexible enoug to join the debate and see the other person’s view.
    Such a true Naked Leader week.

  4. Older people tend to be ‘lost’ when it comes to being valued.
    I don’ like the fact they are ignored, even at family dos, because they are old and no-one is interested.
    We should make everybody in our family feel valued. Always.

    • Thanks Dan, and changing someone’s state is great fun. I was with someone yesterday who said to me over a team buffet lunch “I feel really down, David” to which I replied “Do you find cheese gives you nightmares?” There was a pause and then we both laughed. I then said “sorry, what were you saying?” And he couldn’t quite create the same low feelings. I am not saying this is a long term fix, I do know it helps when it comes to having real communication. Take care. David x

  5. Amazing to think it really is that simple.
    People DO want to be appreciated. It only takes a few words and that can make all the difference.

  6. That is so like a man to start the argument and then accuse the woman of going on the defensive.
    It’s the same principle as the chimps in Monkey World Ape & Rescue Centre in Dorset.
    Lots of male dominated behaviour going on which is uncalled for, although at least they are being their natural selves.

    • Spot on Daniel – the big difference between us and monkeys is we have choices, and we know we have choices. Amazing centre for rescued animals, visited last summer. David x

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