It’s ironic, but the times that I’ve been the most effective in conflict, have been the times that I’ve been extremely selective with my words, or even silent in reply. Those were the times when silence was golden.
I say it’s ironic because we have this instinct to want to make our case, and present our defense, but that doesn’t really work. We argue, because we don’t want the other party to have the wrong idea about us. But the reality is that they’re going to think whatever they want to think, no matter how clever you make your argument with them.
Coming at them with angry or defensive words usually only escalates the conflict, and it rarely, if ever, changes their mind. But keeping your cool will help keep peace in your life.
And this may be cheeky, but I’ve found that a fun side-effect is it tends to annoy them, and they can’t figure out why. After all, it’s really hard to pinpoint how to be annoyed at someone who is calm, and has no angry words, when you’re coming at them like a raging lunatic.
So, let them be the lunatic. You keep your cool. Let them think whatever they’re going to think, (they’re gonna do just that anyway) and just focus on keeping peace in your thoughts and in your life.