xenologer: (bye bye)
Great Pervocracy entry on escalation and de-escalation of conflict.
How much conflict there is in a relationship, or the seriousness of the conflict issues, are not predictors of whether there will be violence. The biggest predictor is the degree to which conflicts in the relationship escalate. (...)

De-escalation means bringing someone down from an irrational, emotionally hyperaroused, screamy-hitty state, but it does not mean appeasement. It can sometimes mean talking someone down by comforting and reassuring them, but that's far from the only method and it's only useful if they're just mildly agitated. If they're screaming or threatening violence, saying "honey please honey it's okay" is usually not the best way to de-escalate them. Setting firm limits is not just more empowering for the de-escalator; it's more effective.

This is a skill I have, but now that I'm an adult? I don't use it with the same person more than once or twice. If someone is up in the crazy tree and it's my responsibility to pull them down and keep things from getting ugly, now that I'm an adult and have some agency in my life? Nope. Screw it.

I've watched too much of this crap in my young life and been trapped in with too much of it, too. Tolerance = gone.

I think that is the thing that's hard about having these skills: knowing when it's okay to stop using them. Just because someone can de-escalate like a frigging conflict sorcerer doesn't mean that it should always be their job, and it certainly doesn't make it their fault when the other person doesn't dutifully submit to their wiles and act like a grown-ass human being.

That was my big realization. Yeah, honestly, I can corral and manipulate people into being less awful to me. But who the hell are they to make me need that skill all the time? Who are they to put me back in the kind of circumstance that taught me how to do it in the first place? Do I really owe them shit?

A lot of people asked Holly to write this entry on de-escalating oneself, and I think that it's really important so I'm going to link it as well. The Pervocracy Guide to Not Doing Stupid Things Because You're angry. Or, as I like to call it, how not to be the kind of person I kick out of my life.

Part of the reason why I'm so happy in my current relationship is the way we handle conflict. My super-cool headshrinker calls it "sophisticated." I call it "problem-solving." Identify problem. Solve it. Be less upset, due to absence or at least reduction of upset-making stimuli.

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