Verbal Aikido: Defend Yourself Against Verbal Attacks

Verbal Aikido: Defend Yourself Against Verbal Attacks

Verbal Aikido is a technique derived from Aikido as a martial art. The latter originated in modern Japan, under the influence of a battle master named Morihei Ueshiba. It is based on the principle that in conflict situations one should seek the neutralization of the opponent and avoid hurting him.

Like all martial arts, Aikido is not just about combat techniques. There is a whole philosophy behind it and the main focus is on personal development. Practicing Aikido encompasses physical as well as mental and spiritual aspects. The battle masters do not despise their opponents, but try to understand and learn from them.

Based on these principles, a group of writers began to seek their application in the field of communication. This is how the concept of verbal Aikido was developed. They found it to be an excellent way to avoid and/or process everyday conflicts. It can be used to bring more peace, serenity and happiness in life. As with any technique, it can be learned and the greatest benefits are achieved with a lot of practice.

Verbal Aikido as an Answer to Aggression

The initiators of verbal Aikido indicate that it is essential to maintain our own well-being when undergoing a verbal aggression. A verbal attack can unleash a hurricane of emotions and confuse us. That is why it is very important to keep our serenity and focus on how to solve the problem instead of making it bigger.

The first thing we should do is not act on autopilot, but rather use the power of the attack to turn the situation around. This should put us in the same spot where the attacker is standing. Instead of looking at it from the other side, the idea is trying to see what the other person sees.

Discussion between two people

We can only achieve this if we listen, instead of worrying about our response. Try to understand the other person’s point of view. Let’s show an example of verbal Aikido. Someone begins with the following verbal attack: “You have poor job performance and yet the bosses treat you better than they treat me.” Using the technique of verbal Aikido, your answer would be: ‘It is very frustrating to work well and feel that you are not getting enough credit. I understand your anger very well.”

This example avoids discussing who is the target of the attack. On the contrary, the person in question reacts by empathizing with the other. This ensures that the conflict takes a different turn. Almost always, behind a verbal attack, there is someone who is suffering. Sometimes aggression, even if it is not a good way, is also a form of asking for help.

Verbal Aikido Techniques

Verbal Aikido contains a number of specific techniques for responding to an attack. These are mechanisms that have proven to be effective in dealing with these types of situations. They are inspired by the movements of the martial art.

The main techniques are the following:

  • Grant and surrender. This is used when the attack does not really endanger us and repeats itself. It is more of an inner act and should prevent the verbal attack from harming us.
  • Resign and stick to your position. This means recognizing that there may be some truth in what the other person says, but maintaining and expressing your own point of view. It is suitable for a spiritual or intellectual dispute.
  • flatter. This is used when the disagreement arose out of the other person’s desire to feel superior. A compliment or some flattery turns off the aggressiveness because it gives the aggressor satisfaction.
  • Detoxifying replica. You respond to the aggression with a question mark. This has two advantages. On the one hand, the other can evaluate the reasonableness of the attack. On the other hand, it gives us a small margin to calm down and not react too violently. This is appropriate when there are harsh personal insults.
  • Objective observation. It consists of showing the other that we notice his discomfort towards us. At the same time, we let you know that we want to resolve the dispute with sound communication. The formula is as follows: “I can see that you are not comfortable with my point of view, but I would like to explain to you why I think that way.”
  • Confrontation. This is a technique to end disrespect or excessive verbal aggression. It goes something like this: ‘I may have made a mistake, but you have no right to treat me this way. That’s why I demand an apology.”
  • Moderate the tone. In this case, the aim is to make the other person aware that an insult has been committed and that there will be no acknowledgment. For example, “If you keep talking with those words (or in that tone), I’ll consider this conversation ended.”
Verbal Aikido to defend yourself against verbal abuse

Finally, what verbal Aikido is looking for is dealing with conflict intelligently. Without expending energy on what it is not worth and only what it is worth. It would be best to learn to count to ten first, so as not to react too aggressively; and then apply some of the above efficient techniques. 

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