How do you stop the fighting 

and begin a journey Toward Peace?

 Are you tired of the yelling, the silent treatment, the avoidance, and the heated exchanges? Are you trying to figure out how to find peace again? You can fight with a partner, a co-worker, a family member, a neighbor, and even strangers. How do you stop the fighting and begin a journey toward peace? 

Here are three tips on how to stop the fighting: 

1. Stop Talking AT someone. Talk TO the person. When we talk AT someone, we talk DOWN to them. We elevate ourselves to a superior position. We are right. The other person is wrong. Just than simple, right? Well, if you want to be right rather than have a relationship, then continue to talk AT the other person. Others feel we talk down to them by not just our words, but primarily in the tone of voice and non-verbal cues. Remember, words are only 7% of communication. We may not even know others feel we are talking down to them. Nobody wants another parent, particularly, parental speeches. Want to stop the fighting? Stop talking AT or DOWN to others.

2. Seek to Understand Before Being Understood. In other words, listen. Have you ever tried to fight and listen at the same time? When you listen, the tension and fighting immediately is disrupted. When we are invited into conflict, whether in the home, work, or a community, the first action is listening. 

Everyone wants to be heard. When we listen, we validate others. They matter. When you interrupt, launch into a diatribe, or just leave, you send a powerful message to the other person. “You don’t matter to me”. Stay engaged and listen with an empathetic ear. Seek to understand. Often, the other person needs our heart, not our brain. They need someone in their corner more than someone to solve their problem.

3. Care for Your Personal Peace. When we are stressed out, when anger is just about at the brim, it does not take much to send us over the edge. Others don’t need to say or do much of anything to get a nasty reaction from us. We are the ones out of control, not them. Ok, so now I am getting personal. You are right. You will be surprised how much of the fighting may be eliminated when we care for our own peace. Hard to fight with someone who will not fight back. You do not give up or give in. You are at peace. And a peaceful person reacts in a peaceful manner to de-escalate a situation. You invite others into a peaceful and safe space to discuss hard things. That is our job as mediators. We create a safe place for difficult conversations.  

How do you stop the fighting?  

  •  Stop talking at people. Talk to them.
  • Seek to understand before being understood.
  • Deepen your personal space.

Want to learn more? Register for the next How to Stop the Fighting Webinar.  



Dr. Randall Kinnison, aka Doctor Peace