By this time, even though the presidential election is behind us, many of us are still stinging from the words we heard as our candidates aired their differences.

Whether we regard these exchanges as pleasurable or punishing, I recall one bright spot in the second debate, when a town hall attendee asked the candidates to “Name one positive thing that you respect about the other.”

Those 10 words stopped their attacks, bringing smiles and nervous giggles. They served as a pattern interruption, which, if inserted skillfully, rescues those in heated debate, keeping them from spiraling out of control and possibly causing permanent damage to the relationship.

Behind our own closed doors, it is possible to experience shocking stabs and wounds caused by our own family members when voicing different opinions about caring for loved ones.

We must take responsibility for the words we use when we talk to each other. Words and tone make all the difference!

Before we judge or lay blame on others, we can take action to become acquainted with quick tips and training. These small adjustments in our tone, attitude and point of view can interrupt harmful, toxic patterns in our conversations. Little tweaks can stop huge meltdowns to bring peace.

If we learn to communicate with compassion, we can replace hostiiity with harmony.

My “Quick Tips and Training” do wonders to defrost icebergs that fracture friendships and families. Find them at


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