It is unbelievable what happens when we emote real feelings in an intense way. People scatter like quail as fast as their legs can carry them. If they stay to hear the emotions expressed, more often than not, they try to calm the one feeling, or joke, or look at other people in an uneasy way. It is not beneath some to actually threaten or manipulate the other into silence. This only causes more problems.
The person feeling the emotion wants to be heard and wants you to validate that the feelings are real and that they have the right to express them. The feelings let them know they are still alive and human. To dam them up, or try to erase them does not help in the long run. Telling them you don’t want to hear what they need to say is harmful. It is taken as you don’t care or they don’t matter to you.
The more effective way is to tell the one expressing the emotion that they have a right to their feelings, that you are listening to them, and validate what is being said. You don’t need to agree with it, but you can say you can see how it might be possible for them to feel what they are feeling because of their experiences in life. You can say, “I’d like to give this some more thought.”
The person who is feeling and emoting needs to do so appropriately and in a non-abusive way. If it gets abusive, say, ” This sounds like this is very important to you. I want us to take a time out, so we can talk about this when I have more time to discuss what needs to be shared with me.” Being abusive is never effective. It hinder’s communication. The following poem says it all: