Q: How can I as a participant deal with a person who is suddenly very emotional?
A: The first point is that if you ignore someone’s feelings, you’re likely to make things worse. And although an obvious response might be to call for a time-out, this might not be the best solution.
You need to recognise what sort of emotions have surfaced: happiness or sadness, anxiety or excitement, fear or confidence, anger or serenity. You also need to consider your own and others’ emotional responses to the situation – does it make you feel uncomfortable and how are the others coping? Is anyone else taking command of the situation and, if so, do you feel that there intervention is appropriate? How you deal with this will depend on your interpersonal skills and experience.
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