Tongue Fu: Verbal Self-Defense.

Verbal self-defense is what people likely do to counter their deemed antagonists. This can be verbally counter attacking, saying something hurtful. It can be defending their point of view or debating their position.

In day-to-day situations, people have interactions with their families, friends or other people they know or even strangers. Arguments normally happen everywhere when different views do not meet or people are just plain stupid. People have different reactions and ways of communicating. Nevertheless, you can strategize as you deal with arguments with other people.

Verbal self-defense is more a psychological aspect rather than physical. Thus, understanding the situation can be a good form of defense. Verbal self-defense can be learned similar to physical self-defense. It takes good judgement and application of good virtues for verbal self-defense to work.

Verbal self-defense has three basic parts. 

  1. Understanding what’s really going on
  2. Listening instead of leaping to conclusions
  3.  Knowing how to respond

Understanding What’s Really Going On

There is a big difference for example of a child saying something mean to you and acting aggressive than an adult. With a child you don’t feel threatened and it has different effects on your biochemistry than an adult saying something threatening. This effects your brains amygdala and fight or flight response. So you need to determine what’s really going on.

Listening Instead of Leaping into Conclusions.

Avoid knee jerk defending “I can’t BELIEVE you are saying that to me when you know how much I…” debating “Here are the reasons you are wrong. Number one….” The problem with these is they all reward the attacker by giving them your energy and attention prolonging the conflict.

Knowing How to Respond

Decide whether it’s best to walk way, or ignore the comment, show compassion and ask if they are o.k?, use humor to defect the situation, or hit the reset button with a statement like; “I value your opinion but I won’t stand here and take abuse. If you’d like to discuss this let’s do it without insulting each other’s etc. The idea here is to pause and think of the best way to respond instead of prolonging the conflict.