Sometimes even when we feel calm, serene and imperturbable by a potentially provocative conversation it can become apparent that the other person simply cannot handle that calmness. This may be due to their discomfort and inability to handle the subject matter, or it may be that they just want a more animated response from you - but if you don't feel it, please don't fake it! Don't rise up to meet them, remain where you are by focusing on your feet on the ground, or pay attention to how your bottom feels on the chair. Their over-reaction belongs to them, let it stay with them!
Everyone has their own agenda, and their own pre-conceived ideas and expectations about how someone they think they "know" will respond to a certain topic, but actually that belief held so tightly by them is not necessarily true. We need to be able to be completely real about our evolving emotions, and accept the ebb and flow of them for ourselves and from others. Just because someone has expressed an opinion on something once doesn't mean that opinion should, or indeed will, stay fixed in stone. How flexible are you when someone you thought you knew inside out expresses a change of opinion? Does it make you angry, or can you celebrate their ability to embrace the belief that as we grow we change?
"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights." - Pauline R. Kezer
"He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery." - Harold Wilson
"The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists." - Japanese proverb