The goal of calm and non-response is not to suppress your natural emotions, but to be able to flow with them and even marshal those emotions when needed. For example, anger can be a beautiful and useful tool. The fire of anger can serve you as a tool of survival, as a remover of obstacles, as a dramatic and effective psychological or theatrical punctuation of communication, and as a useful force of destruction when we decidedly need to wreck things in our lives with a controlled implosion. The problem is when anger controls you, instead of you controlling it. Much of this practice is learning to disentangle your emotions from the static charge of the other person's emotions. It can be very difficult to not be swept away in someone else's rush of troubled energy. When we feel controlled or influenced in this way we can become resentful, which fuels our dysfunction. We sometimes avoid difficult people, but we often do it because we know we cannot control our emotions in their presence! In this sense we are putting those people in control. The way you put yourself in control around difficult people is by learning how to maintain your objective calm in the midst of their emotional upheaval. Be mindful and don't let your emotions get out of control!