Why, NOT What
I have made it a practice (but not always when I get ahead of myself) to apply the "Why, Not What" principle when someone has done or said something to offend me, or even when there was a degree of physical confrontation. So many of the disruptive issues continue when those involve only address WHAT took place without the willingness to understand WHY.
EXTREME Example: There exists the most pathetic, stupid, insane, ignorant, ... attitude of a significant portion of the U.S. population (like 30%) who have refused the COVID vaccine for the most pathetic, stupid, insane reasons that have been promoted by politicians, evangelists, as well as radical broadcasting personnel for inhumane reasons. These unfortunate souls have rejected the vacine based upon WHAT the vacine means to them for some idiotic reason, e.g., independence of government, personal liberty, whatever, instead of WHY, i.e., to save them and their family. While I wish no harm to anyone, there has never been a better justification for Natural Selection regarding thinning out the Human Race of idiots.
When involved in a difficult verbal, possibly physical, engagement with someone, there may be an opportunity to find some level of understanding / justification of what has taken and is taking place ... or has been said or is being said, by simply asking WHY did you did / say that. Granted, the hurt, anger and or precedence may be so great at that time that the only desire is to lash out. BUT, we already know that that type of 'interchange' achieves absolutely nothing good, only more the same old, same old BS.
So, Ron, how does one pursue the WHY when the emotions are intense... and the facts are seemingly bifurcated and/or not really being considered? Of course, there is no formula here given the wide range of possible issues. Nonetheless, I offer the following thoughts.
1. Take a deep breath and reach out your hand in genuine interest to understand. For a Love One, touch both shoulders and provide a soft kiss to the cheek/forehead and/or hug. "We are going to figure THIS out."
2. This is the KEY step to moving forward and it may consist of several substeps based upon ASKING the proper questions instead of first stating your position:
a. What are the issues as you see them?
b. What is it that you believe that I do not understand about those issues?
c. What is about me that makes you unhappy about what you think I might not understand?
d. What have I said/done to demonstrate a difference between us two?
e. Lastly, are you willing to listen to my perspective of the issues and my understanding?