Part of our “Art of Subtle Suggestion: Guiding Principles for Engaging and Collaborative Communication” series.

The other day, I was asked about how to have a poker face during conversations.  At the heart of this question was how to not let our frustration be a detriment to the conversations we have.  When we get frustrated, it can show through on our faces, in our voices, and in our body language.  It can also create dissonance in the conversations we have because we, as human beings, feed off of the energy of others.  We consciously and subconsciously react to the energy of others as we talk with them.  When our frustration comes across clearly in a conversation, it can escalate the conversation, create frustration in others, and break down our conversation from being collaborative.

So how do we have a poker face and avoid this outcome?

In TV and movies today, we often see the visual of enlightened individuals walking down the street accepting everything they see around them without judgement, never getting upset, and always “turning the other cheek.”  However, that’s not how we truly function as human beings.  We naturally have a wide-range of dueling emotions within us, and that’s okay!

The typical depiction we see portrays us completely devoid of a part of us which actually causes us more harm than good when we try to deny that part of us.  Instead, when we embrace that we have a dual nature – that we have both frustration and acceptance within us – we can more easily create our poker faces during conversations and have them go the way we want.

The next time we get frustrated, instead of trying to fight that frustration, we can acknowledge that we are frustrated, embrace that it is a part of us, and make the choice to actively reduce our frustration by engaging in what calms and relaxes us.  Doing so WILL release our frustration so we can have a poker face and behave the way we want.

Pro-tip: Focusing on the ultimate goal of what we want to achieve and the meaning that has for us DOES help us more easily hold true to a poker face during conversations.

Here at Strive For More, we can teach you this art, the Art of Subtle Suggestion, to temper frustration and have a poker face during conversations.

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