Coffee helps and it's not the caffeine!
Holding a warm cup of coffee or tea can soften your heart!
Did you know that when you are dealing with a conflict, holding a warm cup of coffee or any other warm beverage, will soften your heart? It's true! It turns out that there is a close association between physical warmth and emotional warmth. There is a mall region of the brain, called the insula, that becomes active with either physical warmth or prosocial, warm behavior. When the insula is active, we see others as friendlier and more approachable. We tend to like others more when the insula has been triggered.
How can you use this information to help in a conflict? Well, the obvious advise is that both you and the other party should have a cup of coffee, tea, or any other warm beverage. Holding the warm cup will trigger the insula which will them make prosocial behavior more probable. Engaging in a conflict with more caring emotions will help turn the intensity of the conflict down a little. Even if it has only a slight effect, every little bit helps.
If you can't get the other party to accept a warm beverage, you can still enjoy the benefits of this little tip. If you are holding something warm in your hand and therefore triggering more prosocial behavior, then your body language is leaking more caring and less threat. That, by itself, will help and again, every little bit helps!
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