Never Tell a Person to– Relax, Calm Down, Chill-Out… It’s Worst Thing You Can Say + It Doesnt Work…

Never Tell Someone to ‘Relax’: It’s a paradox — when someone is getting stressed out, one of least effective (and perhaps most annoying) things to say is ‘relax’…

According to Sue Shellenbarger; the directive ‘relax’ has exactly the opposite effect on most people. People who instruct a colleague, subordinate… to relax may have good intentions, but it’s usually better to resist ordering people to change emotional state; instead be supportive, let them know you care, listen…

According to Wendy Mendes; commanding someone to ‘relax’ is physiologically impossible if the body is already too acutely stressed to turn it around– while the body responds rapidly to stress, returning to a relaxed state can take 20 to 60 minutes…

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When people are told to hide or suppress an emotion– ’emotion suppression’– it typically backfires… in fact, the emotion actually intensifies and it can open even deeper divides between people, especially in workplace, e.g.; employee and boss…

According to Kenneth Pulaski; a study found that attempting to reverse a highly emotional display by asking an individual to calm down is effective only 9% of the time… When a person is struggling with a stressful issue and becomes highly emotional never use words, such as; ‘just relax’ and other insensitive phrases– these platitudes don’t work, plus they make the situation worse…

Telling someone with, e.g.; ‘anxiety’ to just stop, or ‘depression’ to just be happy, or ‘insomnia’ to just sleep, or ‘anorexia’ to just eat, or ‘bulimia’ to just keep it in, or ‘problems’ to just get over it… these type imperative commands may be said in the best of intention, but they just don’t work and are counter-productive…

In the article One Lie Deceptive Leaders Tell by Brian de Haaff writes: For a leader to tell a manager/employee/anyone to just ‘relax’ when something serious has gone wrong is both deceptive and damaging… During times of stress, the most valuable thing a leader can offer is understanding… People do not expect them to solve their problems, but they do hope that a leader will acknowledge the issue and supportive… Telling an upset person to ‘relax’ undermines their feelings and is hurtful and insensitive… More important, it’s not going to help resolve their anxiety, but it will make them feel embarrassed for feeling it... When bad things happen or big problems arise, leaders must be fully engaged. There is no magic button that makes the pain go away or erases awful mistakes, but leaders who quietly listen and offer constructive support, when appropriate, will inspire empathy and trust…

In the article Relax! Can Actually Cause Stress by Steve Roesler writes: The workplace is an exceptionally stressful environment and, no doubt, there are people who might suggest with a cavalier attitude; Oh, just relax. Sometimes it helps; sometimes it doesn’t. There’s a reason for both: It turns out that the advice to ‘relax’ can produce everything from anxiety to insomnia as a result of stress…

According to Wegner, Bloome, Blumberg; there are well-intentioned leaders/managers who may start a team meeting by telling everyone, at the meeting– to simply ‘relax’, when they are about to discuss issues that are staged as being important– the statement to; simply ‘relax’ often initiates an immediate observable level of anxiety with most everyone at the meeting…

It’s fruitless and even demeaning to try change how people feels or react by telling them how they should feel, i.e., relax, calm down, don’t get excited… Leaders/managers and even other employees, can actually make someone feel worse (i.e., stressed) as a result of trying to get them to relax… Most people are designed to live and learn through the depth and breadth of emotions; attempting to alter the truth of what someone is experiencing will inhibit that process…

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In the article Never Tell Someone to Chill-Out, Relax by princeflorence writes: Telling a person to– ‘relax’,  ‘calm down’, ‘chill-out’… are directives that are in some way trying to manipulative a person’s line of thinking… it’s telling another person to act differently because their behavior makes you feel uncomfortable… But ordering another person to ‘calm down’ will probably result in the exact opposite behavior… Of course there will be times when a person is being– illogical, or irrational, or downright abusive; and in these situations your response should be either; to disengage by walking away, or just listen, stay silent until the person calms down…

In the article Why Saying– Calm Down– Backfires by Robert Bacal writes: OK,  just ‘calm down’; Would you just ‘calm down’… saying ‘calm down’ can be used to help someone, or to send the message that the person ‘should not feel’ upset… You might mean well by telling someone to ‘calm down’, but it’s not what you ‘intend’ that matters, but how your ‘words’ are perceived by the other person… Avoid using a command structure; the less it sounds like an order, the more it sounds like you actually want to help’… hence, the more constructive it will be perceived… But also consider your own motives; is your goal to help; or is it to stop feeling uncomfortable about the emotional outburst from the other person… Are you more concerned about yourself or them?

In the article Telling Someone to Relax Is Pretty Much A Death Sentence by Ashley Fern writes: Being told to ‘relax’ is an insinuation that you are irrational… for acting with such high emotions… When someone is freaking-out, it’s only natural to tell the person to ‘calm down’… but when someone is angry/pissed-off, this is the last thing they want to hear… In that moment, the person feels that their emotions are completely justified, and if you utter the word ‘relax’ or ‘calm down’… you are basically nullify and invalidate their emotions… But realistically, have you ever seen a person actually ‘relax’ after being told to ‘relax’? Instead of rushing to judgment, people should listen carefully and try to understand the other person’s issues, grief…

For most people when in a stressful situation it’s hard to ‘just relax’; that’s why it’s annoying when one person tells another to do it. According to Judith Law; there is nothing that anyone can do that will instantly get rid of a person’s anxiety… It’s a paradoxical fact: When someone is stressed out, one of the least effective (and perhaps most annoying) things to say is–‘relax’… This type of directive, in most situations, has exactly the opposite effect and will probably make the situation worse…  

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When people are told to hide their feeling and clamp down on their emotions, it actually does the opposite… According to Tanya; using– ‘calm down’ or ‘relax’, or similar words… as an imperative ‘command’ has about a 100% failure rate… Yes, the words of advice may have been said in good faith and totally well-meaning… But, do you really believe that if a person who is stressed that they could calm down by simply doing it: People’s emotions don’t work quite that way.

And even worse through the use of imperative command a person is dismissing gravity of what other person is experiencing… In fact, you are being condescending by telling peope how they should feel… An imperative command, such as; relax, calm down, take it easy… doesn’t work– so, don’t do it…