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January 19, 2021
The two sides of responsibility
January 19, 2021

Communicate, don’t lash out!

By Sophie Barcant, BA (Psyc), B.ED. Trainer, Facilitator, Parenting Coach/Consultant

Domestic violence seems to be on the rise. Reports say it’s up by 300 per cent.

Families are struggling with more conflict than usual. Is yours?

Are your teens and you arguing more? Are siblings hurling criticisms and insults at each other? Are you more irritated than usual with your partner, spouse, old parents, and relatives?

Why is this? Because we lack awareness of the deep drivers of behaviour and what drives people to lash out and what to do to avoid it, and we don’t know how to process and communicate what we are feeling.

We need a crash course in communication and Emotional Intelligence (EQ).

EQ skills can help us not only recognise our emotions but, to a certain extent, notice and understand those of others as well, and how to process and respond appropriately to them.

Much conflict and aggression can be avoided if we are tuned into noticing emotions and talking about them.

Even though many restrictions have been lifted and we can move around a lot more easily than in early COVID times, uncertainties still loom as to what’s happening with the economy, unemployment, threats of the worse strains, superpower control of our lives through vaccines, availability of basic shelter and food and huge concerns about the lack of children’s ability to engage in remote virtual school.

These and other worries have thousands feeling fearful and anxious. Many people lash out in anger when afraid. We fear failure, not being able to provide, rejection, losing jobs or the respect of loved ones, not being good enough and abandonment.

Direct communication and EQ skills are a must to experience emotional stability, manage ourselves and all our interactions and relationships regardless of the times. We can even thrive with great resilience in the face of major setbacks once we practise high levels of EQ. Is this not what we all want for ourselves, our children, colleagues, and friends?

EQ skills allow us to notice when others are getting agitated, provoked, or triggered and to back off, moving away from the provoking conversation to allow them to calm down and not let loose to anger and aggression.

It guides us to find ways to express what we must without provoking, blame or criticism.

We also develop stronger will power to humbly not lash back when we ourselves are criticised or blamed and provoked. We remain rational, and at the right time using Direct Communication (DC), we state what we feel about the circumstance in question, without blame.

DC skills enable us to respectfully describe how a situation, event, behaviour, experience has affected or impacted us and sometimes can respectfully request the other party to be mindful of their actions in the future.

Let’s teach children this when they are young, thus empowering them for greater peace in their lives. Conflict is inevitable so why not learn how to resolve conflict in a way where no one is hurt or offended but empowered and can grow wiser from it.

We are so blessed that our faith and God’s divine grace offer us strength to develop and live great virtues like humility to help us grow in these skills.

We are given graces to help us accept others’ defects and flaws more easily, to swallow our pride and realise that we are all broken and so can say “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing” or forgive us, we do not know what we are doing.


Follow Sophie’s parenting approaches drawn from Love and Logic and Positive Discipline on, FB and Instagram. For personal coaching,