How to De-escalate Domestic Conversations

When dealing with your family, friends and significant others sometimes there will be conflict. Often what you argue about is not even the real issue. It is just a symptom of a person in pain. This pain may spring from lack of sleep, physical or mental pain, stress, anxiety and cause a loss of emotion and critical thinking and lead to verbal attacks and even violence.

These upset loved ones can test our patience and cause us to lose our compassion and patience and communicate poorly.


1. Don’t crowd people. Give them space (physical and emotional space).

2. Keep your voice calm and even (don’t be condescending or belittling) Sometimes, it is not what you say but, how.

De-escalation and communication tips:

  • Don’t avoid conflict as it is often necessary to help get to resolutions.
  • Be quiet, don’t interrupt, and be attentive.
  • Remain calm.
  • Avoid being defensive.
  • Listen to what the person is trying to tell you.
  • Don’t play the blame game. Work to see both sides and reflect on what the other person is saying.
  • Avoid the need to be right.
  • Help the other person clarify what they need.
  • Be empathetic. This is the quickest way to calm an angry or difficult person.
  • Think of when you felt as they do. As you align yourself to their feelings it is easier to empathize.
  • Avoid arguing. Be sincere but, don’t just contradict what they say.
  • Don’t attack their character.
  • Let them know you understand the complaint even if you don’t agree there is a problem or with the solution.