As communication majors, we will most likely work closely with people on a daily basis. Confrontation is a natural part of communication. Some people get a kick out of it, some even thrive off it of, but others find it very uncomfortable. Regardless of how you feel about it, it is important to know how to deescalate sticky situations.
Here are some tips on how to do so:
*Listen: People are more likely to be receptive to what you say if you are receptive to them first. When you listen it makes people feel like you have a genuine interest and care about what they are upset about. Also, when you take the time to listen you will be able to understand why the person is upset more efficiently.
*Do not let your emotions get the best you: Try to remain as level-headed and logical as possible, even if the other people have totally flown off the handlebars. You can only control how your own behavior, so learn to take the high road. Stick to stating facts about whatever the argument is about and remain calm. As soon as you raise your voice you have sunk to their level.
*Make what you say count: Even if you have honed the listening skill your opponent may not have. This means that you have to try twice as hard to get your point across. Think about the message you want to get across before you say it. Use as few words as possible to convey your message, because it will be less for your opponent to try to process while yelling back at you. Repetition is a good tool to hammer your message across without being rude.
*Walk away and come back later: If you are still having problems dealing with the situation, do not be afraid to be the bigger person and walk away for awhile. Let the other person cool down and re-approach them at a later time. Remember, win an argument and lose a friend, employer, coworker, or source.