Joep Schuurkes wrote:
Aikido may change us so that we are not easily verbally assaulted, but still aikido does not directly teach us verbal responses to a verbal attack. So aikido does not teach us the best non-injurous response to a conflict (or to an invitation to conflict).
I have to respectively disagree with your observation above. I have learned that Aikido principles can be applied to non-physical confrontations of all sorts. For instance, when verbally attacked I can, in my mind, tenkan. Turning, I am then able to see the conflict from the position of my assailant. This helps me to identify with his position and also allows me to release the need to defend my position at all costs. I am thus better able to judge the situation from a neutral perspective and attempt to resolve the conflict so that both parties are satisfied.
I can also enter into the attack (mental irimi). Becoming part of the attack and no longer the attacked, I am able to control the nature of the conflict and attempt to bring about a resolution by cooperating with my opponent instead of fighting with him.
These are but two examples of how Aikido can be used in non-violent confrontations. If you're interested in delving into this subject further you might want to read "Leadership Aikido" by John O'Neil, "The Magic of Conflict" by Thomas Crumm and "The New Conflict Cookbook" by Thomas Crumm, Judith Warner and Christine Steerman.