We're deep into the ACC tournament. Tensions are flaring as fans and their teams get closer to the championship. As much as we know it's just a game, many fans think differently. It can cause heated conversations, even arguments at work.

Here are some tips to keep the "mad" out of March Madness.

1) Telling someone to calm down is not the way to get someone to calm down. When fans get overzealous or angry that their team is losing or not playing well, they’re pumped on emotions. When you say, “calm down” or “it’s only game” then that will incite more anger because you’re ignoring what they’re feeling.

2) instead of saying “Calm down.” “It’s only a game." it’s better to address the underlying feelings – anger, disappointment, surprise. You want to be empathetic and say something like, “I hear ya. It’s not looking good right now. But, your team has time to turn it around.”

3) When it comes to body language avoid gestures that can escalate their frustration. When you put your palms down, smirk or furrow your brows you’re sending a condescending message that they’re nuts. That’s adding fuel to the fire. Also, avoid getting too close or being face to face, which is considered more confrontational.

Share your thoughts with me on Twitter at @blancacobb. Remember to use the hash tag #BlancaOn2. Or, you can find me on my facebook page.

Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.

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