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How to Stop an Argument in 30 Seconds

If you just don't want to get into it right now, the best course of action is to make peace or move out of the way.


  • Step 1: Change the subject Change the subject before things go too far, and express your desire to drop it.
  • Step 2: Maintain silence If the other person continues to argue, maintain silence, listening but not engaging, so the argument is over before it starts. Don't add fuel to the fire.
  • TIP: When you argue, recognize that even if you're right, there is a gap between reality and your perception.
  • Step 3: Keep it private Keep things private. Don't bring in allies who support your viewpoint.
  • Step 4: Take a time-out Agree to resume the conversation when cooler heads can prevail. Promise the other person you will take their point of view into account when you return to the discussion.
  • Step 5: Leave the room Remove yourself. Find a neutral corner and take the time to collect your thoughts.
  • Step 6: Show humility If you really want to end the argument before it starts, say you're sorry whether you think you're right or not and promise to being aware of the other person's feelings. Defuse the argument and get on with your life.
  • FACT: Domestic violence in the U.S. costs nearly $2 billion in lost productivity and earnings each year.

You Will Need

  • Restraint
  • Privacy
  • A time-out
  • A neutral corner
  • Humility
  • Forgiveness (optional)

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