Apply the reasonability test

When conflict is escalating quickly or you are being met with pushback from someone, it is worthwhile to check in with yourself to see if you are being reasonable. Maybe you are (part of) the cause of the conflict.

Check in with yourself by asking questions along these lines:
• Is what I am asking or saying reasonable?
• Do I sound like the voice of reason?
• Does my body language match my calm voice and words?

Adjust accordingly.

If you honestly determine that you are being reasonable, it may be that the other person needs space (and respect) to gather themselves. Do not tell them that they are being unreasonable or illogical. You might offer one of these responses.
• Help. “I know you are under a lot of stress right now, how can I help?”
• Validation. “You really wanted it to work out differently. I am so sorry it didn’t work out that way.”
• Space. “I’m going to give you some time to yourself. I’ll be right out here if you need me. Perhaps in a bit we can talk about why you’re so upset.”

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