Although, verbal conflict resolution is a recognized tactic of many modern self-defense programs that are legitimate. Its another tool with which you can resolve a conflict. Strategy games like chess and go were once classified as martial arts, too. Don't overlook strategic training just because its not physical.
I certainly don't! I thought I expressed that in a few lines of the original post, if it wasn't clear, then I apologize. However, I do think it's a cop out response, when asked whether a martial art can be used for self-defence or not, or when saying that they used their martial art for self-defence, and then refer to conflict de-escalation.
Conflict avoidance, and de-escalation, is more a matter of common sense (hmm, probably shouldn't go up and call that drunk hooligan a twat right now!), and diplomacy (Oh? I called you a twat? I'm very sorry, I was clearly talking about that other drunk guy! I do apologize!). Certainly key points in self-defence, in the bigger picture, but obviously not what people are asking about when in the context of martial arts (without clearly specifying so).