Humans 101

How ‘Verbal Aikido’ Can Help You Avoid Stupid Arguments

The everyday martial art of talking to someone who disagrees with you

A blue silhouette of a bald person overlapping a red silhouette of a long-haired person, all on a yellow background.
A blue silhouette of a bald person overlapping a red silhouette of a long-haired person, all on a yellow background.
Credit: tomozina/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Words create our reality. Once we put them out there, we can’t take them back. Expressions like “I didn’t mean to say that” or “I was only kidding” come too late.