Some people are natural de-escalators when they are in relationships. Some of us on the other hand are not. Instead of de-escalating fights, we tend to escalate. When we fall into this category, it feels as if we cannot 'put the breaks on' when we get into a conflict. On a conscious level, we do not want to harm a relationship. But once we feel threatened enough, we tend to lose control of an aspect of ourselves that decides it is out to destroy the other person.
Many people think that arguments in a relationship are unhealthy. That isn't true. Arguments are a good way to purify a relationship and to develop greater levels of harmony with one another. But there is a difference between an argument and a fight. In a fight, the disagreement escalates to the point where the other person becomes the enemy. And this has the potential to damage and destroy a relationship.
Self help experts offer a plethora of advice about how to de-escalate conflicts and about how to communicate in relationships. But what do we find? We find that even though we hear this advice and know it, in the heat of the moment during a fight we do not use this knowledge. We escalate the fight instead. We do this because we do not realize there is something deeper that is lurking behind our inability to stop a fight.
The thing that most 'escalaters' do not know about themselves, is that a part of them does not actually want to de-escalate a conflict. They have to be brutally honest with themselves when they ask themselves the following questions: What positive things am I getting out of a fight? And what bad things would happen if I took responsibility for de-escalating a fight in any way I can? These questions have the capacity to help us discover what we are really afraid of about de-escalating a fight so we can address our tendency to escalate at its core.
To understand more about this concept and to learn more tools for de-escalation, watch this video below: