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the 3 Ds in verbal aikido create harmony
Photography by helen dixon

the 3 Ds in verbal aikido create harmony

by Beth Gineris beth gineris
Cultivate Relationships | Tips


deflect, deflate, define
Aikido is a Japanese Martial Art that incorporates entering and turning movements to engage the energy of an attacker at a stage that throws off the attackers momentum, and then redirects the energy away and down to diffuse the attackers power and harm. It is very beautiful and when you observe this in action it looks like a beautifully choreographed dance.

The art of verbal Aikido is the application of these techniques, actions, and attitudes toward redirecting the harm, negativity, and intensity of verbal atacks to create harmony.

This can be accomplished in three steps if you remember the three Ds - deflect, deflate, define.

1. Deflect the tone and tenor of the attacker. Respond to the content from the most neutral, compassionate, and accepting place within your center. This gives the action of stepping into the energy and grabbing it to shift the negativity away and down.

2. Deflate the negativity by reiterating your intended meaning through clarification and compassionate interest in how your communication was interpreted. This gives the action of transmitting and grounding the negative energy, diffusing the power while staying connected to the other person. Avoid sarcasm, condescension, and down-putting behavior as these escalate.

3. Define, is the most delicate as it is the core that creates the container so that the attacker can release without hurting the receiver/Aikido master, you. Sometimes this third position requires you to go through steps 1, and 2 many times - but each time there develops a recognition of each other and a sense of harmony or peace.

Solutions are always present within the dilemma. Practicing the art of verbal Aikido opens the space to discover the solution, brings peace and harmony.

Deflect, deflate, define, find peace and harmony. These simple steps can change your world one diffused negative interaction at a time.



Resources :
Turning Me to We: The Art of Partnering with Mindfulness (Gineris 2012)

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