Lots of people think verbal self-defense means fighting back. Their thinking about verbal self-defense is a collection of killer smart cracks plus strategies for using language to wipe the floor with their opponents. It’s not an accurate thinking.
It has undoubtedly happened to people. There people are, in the middle of a fierce argument with someone, and suddenly they realize that they not only don’t particularly care about the subject of the argument but they can’t understand how they got into the altercation in the first place. This isn’t trivial. Hostile language is dangerous to people?s health and well-being; it’s toxic stuff. People who are frequently exposed to hostile language get sick more often, are injured more often, take longer to recover from illness and injury, and suffer more complications during recovery. As an obvious result, they tend to die sooner than those not so exposed. What’s more, hostile language is just as dangerous to the person dishing it out as it is to the person on the receiving end. Obviously it’s to people?s advantage to stay out of arguments in both their personal and their professional life, unless something truly important — something about which they care profoundly — is at stake. Even then, most of us are aware that it’s possible to have intense discussions that don’t turn into altercations. One of the parts of our brain (the amygdala) is on constant duty, and one of its primary tasks is to scan for danger. When it spots an incoming perception that meets its criteria for danger, it has the ability to send a message that provokes an immediate fight-or-flight reaction, and it can do that without first going through the reasoning part of our brain. It can literally short-circuit our thinking process. In the sabertooth tiger days this was a good thing.
Here are your two most targeted choices: