Sometimes, when you’re stuck in a tense situation, it seems like nothing you do is actually helpful. Whether you’re on the receiving end of it or vice-versa, a tense situation needs to be handled carefully. It comes down to the value of being right versus the value of being effective. Is winning an argument worth everything it may cost? Or is there more to be gained from an effective conversation? If your answer is the latter, here are five ways to help you de-escalate a tense situation.
Understanding where the other person is coming from is essential to solving a conflict. You may not agree with their perspective, however, it’s essential to show empathy towards them and their situation. Communication is the best way to resolve a conflict and that is only possible when you try to understand the other person.
While understanding their perspective is important, it’s also essential to know why they have that perception. Why and how is just as significant to the conversation as the what. In return, you also need to be open and receptive towards questions.
In a tense situation, it’s easy to be taken out of context or appear dismissive. While it’s important to stand your ground, it’s also essential to be respectful towards the other person. Choose your words carefully, calmly and with being condescending or rude. Think of your response as a bridge to a conversation as opposed to a dynamite.
Often times, it’s easy to say things we don’t really mean in the fit of anger. While a situation may or may not be triggered by you, it is important that you asses it carefully. You need to ask yourself if you’d rather be right or you’d prefer to be kind and understanding.
After something blows up, you need to give it some time for the dust to settle. Be mindful and acknowledge what just happened. Many people tend to be dismissive about what just happened and that usually leads to bad blood. All wounds need time to heal and a tense situation is exactly like that. Let it rest and eventually, you can approach the topic and talk about it.
Understand that in such situations, the best outcome is not about proving which side is right or wrong. It’s about both sides being effective and in both communication and kindness. How would you resolve a tense situation? Let us know in the comments below.
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