Your words can escalate or deescalate almost any situation and the goal is always to avoid escalating a situation and get away.  Follow these steps:

  1. Listen!! Know who you’re are dealing with before speaking back
  2. Use short and concise replies to clearly state what you want
  3. Use this opportunity to create physical distance with the goal being to get away to safety.  And where possible, place yourself between them and an object (such as a door or building).
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Great verbal skills can get you out of most situations. Choosing the proper words and the right time will either escalate or de-escalate any situation. Think of how differently you speak to someone you like vs. someone you dislike. Your intent will be heard by what and how you speak.