Men and women involved in a conflict tend to find their emotions escalating along a continuum from triggered to angry. All of us can experience this continuum, and each step in the continuum provides opportunity to use conflict resolution skills. The following statements express the experience of moving along that continuum; the “I” can be either gender, with men and women experiencing each in their own way:
• Triggered: Something happens or is said that stimulates a stress emotion in me.
• Irritated: I feel my heart beating harder; my mind is focused, attentive, wary—and it’s now directed at someone or something.
• Annoyed: The internal feelings have gone on for more than a few moments—they are building, and I may be ...