Nowadays it’s much more “accepted” to be subjected to psychological or verbal abuse than physical abuse. Due to this social tolerance and the apparent subjective nature of such abuse it can be considerably harder to deal with it or to even imagine that it could subside. Too often, the victims of regular and persistent verbal abuse continue to grin and bear it without having a means to deal with the abuse intelligently and peacefully. Verbal Aikido is simply a communication tool that has proven to be an efficient approach to managing and defusing conflict – and one that can be easily acquired in three straightforward steps.
Through the methods and exercises taught in Verbal Aikido, the practitioner develops a sense of self-control, an assertive style of communication, and the practice of deliberate intention. The clarity to habitually react with deliberate intention in a conflictual situation highlights the difference between letting a situation escalate into a negative outcome, and providing opportunities for it to move towards a constructively positive direction or a balanced outcome. Here’s an example:
A few Verbal Aikido Do’s and Don’ts:
- DON’T worry if you find yourself getting caught up in a heated exchange. DO take the necessary time to ‘recenter’ when you realize you’re not calm!
- DON’T try to dominate a situation or ‘win’ an exchange. DO insert the intention of harmony (at the very least inner) before you continue.
- DON’T take anything anyone says personally… ever. DO consider that whatever is being said could be a reflection, a transfer or a projection of the speaker himself.
- DON’T forget to be sincere when you’re trying to understand the other’s position (Irimi). DO avoid a sterile exchange by proposing an Ai-ki as soon as you detect adestabilization.
- DON’T let the exchange continue further if you have proposed three consecutive Ai-kis and you still feel attacked. DO use all the exchanges you encounter as opportunities to practice and develop the art.