124. Two Words That Escalate Conflict

Have you ever found yourself in a conflict that quickly escalated, leaving you wondering what went wrong? In this episode of the Language Alchemy Podcast, host Alejandra Siroka delves into how our language choices can unintentionally fuel conflicts, and how staying present in the moment can shift these dynamics.


Alejandra starts by exploring the crucial role language plays in either igniting or diffusing tense situations. She stresses the importance of cultivating a mindful approach to communication, steering clear of rigid rules or formulas. According to Alejandra, conflict is a natural part of human interaction, but its escalation isn't inevitable; it can be navigated effectively with conscious communication.


A key focus of the episode is the concept of staying present during conflicts. Alejandra advises listeners to concentrate on the specific issue at hand, rather than dredging up past issues or making sweeping generalizations. She shares a relatable scenario involving a disagreement with a family member over differing political views, illustrating how sticking to the topic can prevent unnecessary escalation.


Alejandra then zooms in on two words that often exacerbate conflicts: "always" and "never." She explains that these absolute terms are not just abstract but can distort reality, widening the gap between parties in a conflict. Instead, she encourages listeners to use language that accurately reflects the immediate situation, helping to maintain a grounded and realistic perspective.


This episode is a call to embrace the present moment in our interactions, using language as a tool for peace and understanding, rather than conflict and division.



• “When you learn to stay in the present moment, conflict doesn't escalate and become a fight.” (5:21 | Alejandra Siroka) 

• “When you are in a conflict and you leave the present moment, when you leave the now and things escalate, You usually use one of two words that are general, abstract, and that are usually jabs or weapons. These two words are always and never.” (9:06 | Alejandra Siroka) 

• "Can you see how when you use one or both of these two words, the scope of the conflict expands to other times in the past?" (10:54 | Alejandra Siroka)



To listen to episode 67, visit: https://www.languagealchemy.com/podcasts/language-alchemy-podcast/episodes/2147810711

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Podcast Music composed by Gary Lapow: open.spotify.com/artist/1HlMhcNfKIELxYil5mVqD


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