View Full Version : de-escalation

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daniel loughlin
08-18-2006, 12:18 PM
just wondering any advice on de-escalating situation where theres a bad feeling between two peopl and could lead to a fight??

08-18-2006, 12:33 PM
Don't talk , listen to whatever comes at you - keep your distance , stay aware - keep calm.

Janet Rosen
08-18-2006, 12:57 PM
unclear if you are asking as one of the 2 or as a third party. I've been in 3rd party situation doing street patrols/concert security (in an era where folks didn't carry guns...the good old days) and my basic approach was to "triangulate"-- position myself and get their attention --ie not get in betwen them but off to one side getting each of them facing/looking at me (so they stop confronting each other), staying out of arms reach of both unless I felt that having me pat an arm would be helpful (I was a young woman at the time, which helped...)
When I spoke it tended to focus not at ALL on their issues but on the larger reality of the street (that they would be attracting police attention, that it really wasn't neceassry for things to get to this point, etc)
i agree w/ Christian esp if you are 1 of the 2 parties: give the other nothing to disagree with. Sometimes I have simply picked a simple neutral phrase and repeated it, mantra-like, no matter what was said--I might apear dumb but at least I'm not threatening!
my 2 cents

08-18-2006, 03:29 PM
Are you one of the people?

I have found that humility (don't take it personally), humor (don't take yourself seriously), and good manners are great tools to de-escalate.

Janet Rosen
08-18-2006, 03:36 PM
Lynn, all really good advice--only thing I'd caution is that some folks I've noticed, esp younguns, tend to equate humor=sarcasm and the latter is a real good guarantee of EScalation! self-deprecating humor, or gentle humor re the situation per se, sure can work.

Mark Uttech
08-18-2006, 04:18 PM
Be aware of your openings and just stand there, listening.

08-18-2006, 05:13 PM
Listen carefully (both meanings) if you're one of them. This means emphatically with full concentration, not explaining, interrupting, story telling, teaching, giving advice - see Rogerian counseling or NVC for further info on what good listening is. Listening is a really tough active skill and the more I look into it the more I realize I can't do it to save my life, and how autistic most of us are.

If a third party options include:

Distract - "Heh look at my new ass piercing."

Help them find common ground - "Two Man U supporters fighting each other! Noooo." or, redirect towards yourself if you can hack it:
"Both yo mommas is hos and I could kick both yo asses."

Help them listen to each other compassionately - Eg translate, "You arrogant d**k, stop talking over me!" into, "John you sound really annoyed when David talks when you're talking. How about we all agree not to interrupt."

Body stuff - lead them away from being head to head. Inhibit you're own stress response and this will be mirrored.

Destroy them both - no more conflict.

How long you got? At an Aiki Extensions conference the third party option of this question was posed to a number of senior aikidoka, and some of the above came out.

...Oh, or just leave Oldham :-)

08-18-2006, 05:54 PM
Are you one of the people?

I have found that humility (don't take it personally), humor (don't take yourself seriously), and good manners are great tools to de-escalate.
Don't stand still, pardon yourself and walk away. If it is someone you want to maintain a relationship with, you can mend fences later when both of you are have cooled down.

daniel loughlin
08-19-2006, 03:40 AM
i must say ive had lots of advice given wo me in my time but Mark's advice is definitely some i will remember haha ass piercings and ye i would love to leave oldham

yeah sorry about the confusion i meant me being one of the two people

and not so sure about the humor aspect with the kind of irrational people ive come across before

08-19-2006, 10:48 AM
As someone who is in the midst of a situation right now, I constanly ask myself "which is more important? winning or avoiding the conflict altogether?" The stakes are Huge and so far I have managed to let the other person get as angry and abusive as she needed to be.I probably won't "win" this conflict but at least I am doing my best not to escalate it further...

This from a person who only a couple of years ago would put "Being Right" above just about anything....

daniel loughlin
08-19-2006, 11:37 AM
haha well done jo
i can safely say that when it comes to verbal arguments they nearly always end just as long as you keep a cool head ... hmm maybe im kinda answer my own thread here haha hmm the universe works in mysterious ways :D