This post is about anger and the fight or flight response in particular we often get when we get upset. I was at a mediation class recently, and the presenter was Michael Gregory of Michael Gregory Consulting LLC. Mr. Gregory is a former IRS agent. Mr. Gregory said that there is lots of neuroscience research these days and one of the most interesting findings is how long a fight-or-flight response can affect a person, even after you calm down. I you get the response, you have about 9 seconds to calm down before your body gets flooded with chemicals that help you fight or flee, but are not terribly helpful for people trying to have a discussion. These chemicals stay in your system for 24 hours or until the next time you go to sleep. Not helpful for divorce mediation or parenting consulting!
The upshot of the research for mediation is that once you get this response, you are going to make mediation much harder for at least the rest of the day. We all should think about this in our interactions with others, but it is especially important for those who are in mediation. If you start to get upset for more than a few seconds, often it is better to take a break and calm down than to try to stick it out in session. If it reaches 10 seconds, then break for the day, however inconvenient that might be, or at least separate the parties in different rooms for divorce mediation or parenting consulting.