5 Mediating Scripts to Calm a Feud Between Friends or Family Members
While it’s sometimes best to stay out of other people’s business, there are times when you simply have to step in and help meditate an argument between friends or loved ones. Of course, say the wrong thing and they’ll quickly feel like you’re taking sides or making the issue worse. Here are some ideas on what you should say to get things resolved
Script 1 | Hear Everyone’s Side of the Story
Can you tell me how this started?
Depending on the feud, there may be children or other family members and friends who are being affected by a fight. They can offer their own point-of-view on what happened and it’s important to understand how they feel about it, too. This can help you resolve the feud later while giving each individual the chance to sort their feelings out in private.
Script 2 | Get Everyone on Talking Terms
Let’s go clockwise and hear everyone’s take. Can we agree to not interrupt?
They may not be willing to listen to each other yet, but if you can hear everyone out, it will give you a better foundation for meditating the problem because you’ll actually understand it. Most likely, someone will interrupt (especially if there are more than two people involved), but this gives you the chance to start at the beginning so you’re up to speed with what needs to be fixed. It let’s everyone lay their feelings out on the table, so to speak, after they have had time to think things over individually.
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Script 3 | Try to Find the Underlying Issue
This feels like a small part of a bigger problem, have you felt this way before?
Are these negative feelings new or have they been building for a while?
Your friends might be fighting because one of them made a joke that hurt the other’s feelings, but maybe there’s more to the story. Are they always making jabs at each other? Perhaps one feels self-conscious and they brought up a sensitive issue. Most likely, there is a deeper reason behind the squabble, and it’s important to address it if you want to avoid future fights and tension.
Script 4 | Stay Focused on Progress
Let’s not use words like that, they aren’t productive.
Let’s keep our voices calm, we’re working to solve this.
By saying things like this, you can keep everyone focused on making progress towards a resolution. After someone makes a genuine statement, you should also paraphrase their thoughts so they know they have been heard and understood. This keeps the discussion moving.
Script 5 | Ask What Would Fix It
I understand what happened, but it can’t be changed. What will resolve this?
Sometimes, to solve a problem all you have to do is ask the people involved how they want the problem solved. This line may work best if you’re speaking to just one person in private, perhaps the one who’s most upset. You can then ask the other person as well, and that will help you get to the bottom of the what happened and, more importantly, find a solution that pleases everyone.
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Solving any type of feud takes time and a mountain of understanding from all sides. But, the longer you let a feud brew, the worse the problem will become. That’s why you should always use this kind of statement to get to the bottom of the issue and avoid “bandaid” solutions that will only cause the problem to erupt again in the near future.
At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.
Lastly, if you found this content helpful or want to share your own examples, let us know in the comments. We’d also be delighted if you shared this article and joined us on social media too!
Never the Right Word
Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation.
In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.
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Throughout The Mediator's Handbook by Jennifer E. Beer and Caroline C. Packard the emphasis is on what the mediator can do or say NOW, and on the underlying principles and core methods that can help the mediator make considered choices. Long a popular course textbook for high schools, universities, and training programs, The Mediator's Handbook is also a valued desk reference for professional mediators, and a practical guide for managers, organizers, teachers, and anyone working with clients, customers, volunteers, committees or teams. You can get your copy of The Mediator's Handbook by CLICKING HERE.
In Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, author Rosenberg presents his strategies for speaking our deepest truths, addressing our needs and emotions, and honoring those same concerns in others. Over the past 35 years, author Marshall Rosenberg has peacefully resolved conflicts in various situations such as families and workplaces across the world in 30 countries. This book outlines his secrets to communicate successfully in professional and personal relationships. Nonviolent Communication teaches the reader the art of observing others without judgment, authentic communication when it comes to our own needs and feelings, and learning to not take negative responses personally. CLICK HERE to get your copy of Nonviolent Communication.
In Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by author Professor Mark Williams a set of simple yet powerful practices are explored. These practices are designed to be incorporated into our daily lives to help break the negative cycle of unhappiness, stress, anxiety, and mental fatigue. The book is based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) which revolves around a straightforward form of mindfulness meditation which takes just a few minutes a day for the full benefits to be revealed. MBCT is widely recommended by US physicians and the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence - and is (according to research) just as effective as drugs. Well worth the read we think. Get your copy of Mindfulness: A practical guide by CLICKING HERE.
In Difficult Conversations: What to say in tricky situations without ruining the relationship; author Anne Dickson describes a range of difficult conversations that frequently occur in intimate, social, and work situations, and reveals simple but powerful techniques that will help you to transform the scenario. You'll discover how to communicate directly and honestly - without causing friction with those close to you. We love that this book offers 'real-life' examples and links to strategic and high impact negotiations. To get this book from Book Depository please CLICK HERE.
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