How to deescalate a situation successfully

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Have you ever been in a situation that has gotten very heated? Didn’t know what to do? Panicked and just froze. Well, we have great recommendations for next time you are in an escalated situation. Whether it is at work or with a friend we have your back. Learn how to deescalate a situation.

Tools to de-escalate a situation:

Active listening

Sometimes people just want to be heard. Their frustration is that no one listens to them. Hearing someone out also shows that you respect them. Therefore, learning how to actively listen is an important tool for de-escalating situations. If someone gets angry listen to what they are saying. By listening you can hear out their perspective and actually understand what they are looking for.

Let’s use a fight with a friend as a situation. Your friend gets angry at you what are you supposed to do? Listen to them without interruption. Ask questions so you can understand them better. Rephrase what they are saying to make sure you understand. Don’t be just thinking about what will I say next. Don’t get defensive.

Don’t interrupt

Hear their story out and then ask questions. Don’t just try to interrupt while they are talking. But when they stop talking take a few seconds and then reply. You want them to feel you heard them out.


Empathy shows that you are trying to understand what the person is going through. Sympathy on the other hand is more like ‘oh I feel sorry for you.’ As if they are worse off than you and you pity them. Instead, make them feel like you understand their perspective. Acknowledge what they are going through and that it is difficult.

During an escalated situation if the person thinks you understand them they will relax a bit. It can really help cool down a situation.

Take a moment

Don’t just react and explode. Take a moment and breathe in. You might feel angry but take 60 seconds and that feeling will go away. Take seconds before you react. This way you can control what you are saying and your ego won’t control you.

Use icebreakers

If it is a co-worker that there is an escalated situation with try to connect on something common. Use an icebreaker to help you with that. Don’t make a joke when you think the person will get annoyed. But diverting the conversation a little away from the heating matter can help cool down.

Know when to walk away

Sometimes you need to set your limit and end the situation. Call a close to the situation if you think the matters are getting out of hand.

Wrap up for how to deescalate a situation successfully

Escalated situations can be scary but use these tools and develop your skills. The more incidents you have the better you will know to react. Whenever you are in a situation always remember to take a moment. That will guide the way for what you do next.

Comment below and let us know how you handle escalated situations.


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