Dr. John Byrnes in his book Beyond Conflict notes that the two most important preventative steps we can take in preventing conflict are:
1) to analytically evaluate the situation; and
2) then use our communication skills to de-escalate the aggression to prevent the conflict from developing further.
Dr. Byrnes says that we must train people to identify and evaluate mounting anxiety. Anxiety is an emotional state of the mind that develops when people stop coping and start escalating into aggression. Anxiety is different than fear. Fear is the reaction to an actual threat or danger. Anxiety is the reaction to a perceived threat or danger. If we don’t effectively deal with anxiety in its earliest stages of a relationship it can and will build into an aggressive state, Byrnes says.