The next time you find yourself in a confrontational situation, consider the words you are using. How do you start your sentences? Do you start them with the word “you” or with “I”?

Here are 12 ways to communicate how you are feeling and quickly de-escalate a conflict.

  1. I need some clarification.
  2. I feel frustrated when the report is late and I don’t have the data I need to make a good decision.
  3. I have some confusion about the priorities.
  4. I may not have all the information I need to understand your idea.
  5. I’m not sure I’m being understood.
  6. I feel like shutting down when you interrupt me.
  7. I have found that if I do it ______ way, I have better results.
  8. I would like to see you volunteer to take an extra shift.
  9. I’d like to understand how you came to that conclusion.
  10. When I hear you raise your voice, I find it difficult to focus on a solution.
  11. I have found _______ approach to be effective.
  12. I would like _______.