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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I brought this up a few months ago, but I just wanted to inquire about it again as I had another bad experience with this today. (Grrrr).

I tend to get an unpleasent physical reaction (most likely an OD of adrenaline) in situations where I have to defend my position. These situations usually involve business related matters, such as: Criticism from my boss or a client, bringing up an error by a company (such as a credit card, reservation, purchase, etc.). Anytime I know I'm in the right, and that I'm being unfairly treated, I get this intense physical response in which my throat gets tight, and I can barely talk.

Even though I have the necessary thoughts in my head to respond and I know what I want to say, I just can't get it out. So usually I just get taken advantage of.

Today for example, I had to return a rental car in which the car company charged the wrong price. I knew they were wrong, but as soon as I started to complain, my voice started to quiver and I just gave up, I couldn't deal with it.

So I'm wondering, has anyone found any particular technique to control this? I'm sure if I worked harder at my CBT, and spent more of my time trying to overcome SA in general, that it would help, but it just seems like there is something else going on here. If I could just control that adrenaline response, then I know I could easily defend myself.
(Sometimes If I'm extremely anxious, not in any kind of confrontation, but just socially anxious, I get a little bit of this problem as well).
 

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Have the same problem. Haven't figured out how to get around it. But from what my therapist said it has to do with not breathing while you're talking. Do an experiment and hold you breath and then try talking, you'll find you'll only be able to gasp for air when you say anything. Before I have to launch into a big conversation I take a big breath to get my lounges going again. Throughout the conversation I consciously remind myself to continue taking breaths until it's normalized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Update:

After stewing over this today, I called the regional office for the rental car company and explained the situation. They then got a hold of the corporate area manager and he called me back and apologized for the situation, credited me the money I was owed, and said he would call the employee I dealt with and explain to him the proceedure for dealing with conflicting reservations. (I had made two for the same day accidently, and the original employee would not honor the cheaper one).

I think the only reason I was able to resolve this was because I had the luxury of removing myself from the situation, calming myself down, 'writing down' my questions before I called corporate, and being able to talk to the person by phone, rather than in person.

So I felt good about resolving this, not feeling so taken advantage of, but I still should have been able to handle dealing with the first employee face to face without having an adrenline OD. It's ridiculous, if anyone out there has a solution, PLEASE share.


P.S. Drealm, thanks for the tip. I've heard something similar to that before. But my adrenaline rush comes even before I start talking. So I'm not sure it will work, but I'll give it a try. Part of the problem with these situations is that I usually do not know when they will happen, they often blindside me.
 

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Ugh...I get this too, so I completely understand. For me, though, it usually involves my face turning completely red, and my hands shaking slightly. Sometimes, when confronted, I can be completely articulate, but having the extreme red face and shaking makes it look like I'm either really, really upset or angry. And usually, I'm not that upset, I'm just determined to defend myself.

Anyway, as for a way around it I'd definitely say deep breathing does help. Taking a few moments to collect your thoughts can also be really helpful, as you found. Also, like you said, cognitive behavioural therapy can be extremely helpful; it takes time to re-program thoughts, but it's worth it. In intense situations, the automatic thoughts can be even more powerful, I find, than in everyday situations. So, programming your thinking so that it doesn't interfere with the situation can really help.

Anyway, I hope things improve for you!
 
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