Getting “hooked” by a conflict is the experience of being mentally snagged, caught by the conflict in such a way that you find yourself ruminating on it and feeling emotionally off balance.
The earlier you know you’re hooked, the better your chances of handling things in ways you can feel good about later. Here are some signs to watch for:
- Your body is conveying the physiological signs of anger (excerpt from my audio mini-course, Keeping Your Cool in Conflict).
- Your inner lizard is on alert and starting to call the shots.
- You want to vent your anger to someone you trust — even though venting is a bad idea indeed.
- Your thoughts are like a runaway train, escalating you even in the absence of the other person.
- You find yourself using totalizing language when thinking or talking about the situation.
- You’re soothing yourself by blamestorming.
- You’re using one of the ten best ways to win an argument…or — egads! — more than one.