Breaking the Deadlock

Have you ever argued with someone? How do you break the deadlock? In the course of your life, when there are conflicts where neither side will give in, how do you break the stalemate?

Some people are good at breaking deadlocks. They can bring an end to an argument with a smile. For them, there is no fight that cannot be resolved. Other people escalate the situation, turning a small problem into a major issue that becomes difficult to handle.

These are a few methods with which to resolve such deadlocks:

1. Remain humble while handling conflicts. Never appear arrogant or high-handed, as that will only worsen matters.


2. When a stalemate is reached, apologize. It is polite and wise to do so. Apologizing does not mean submitting. Conversely, if you are unreasonable and overbearing, others will only despise you, causing you to lose more.


3. If a deadlock results from disagreements, praise the other party for his or her views as a gesture of goodwill. This will make the situation easier to resolve.


4. If the impasse results from bickering over gains or losses, make an appropriate compromise to open the path to a solution.


5. If the other party is prejudiced against you, greet them nicely. Invite them to sit down, offer them a cup of tea. By treating others with a “warm” attitude, you can reduce the cold feelings of prejudice and reach the warmth of agreement.


6. Smiles, care, poise, and courtesy are the best ways to resolve deadlocks. There is a Chinese saying, “A fist will not hit a smiling face. Nasty words will not be directed at praise.” The warm spring breeze will surely break the ice.


7. When you realize that there is a misunderstanding, you can first explain your standpoint over the phone, or ask a trusted friend to act as a mediator to break through the impasse.


8. Speak well about the other person and praise their virtues. These good words may eventually reach that person, helping to end the deadlock.

Misunderstandings and deadlocks are inevitable in interpersonal interactions. Even between spouses, heated fights and cold arguments are certain to break out. But if one side is willing to say with a smile, “You are correct, dear,” any matter could have been resolved. In Buddhism, many devotees take the Triple Gem Refuge and the Five Precepts Ceremony, vowing to be Buddhas. If they are Buddhas, what is there to fight over? If we are willing to say more kind words and relent in our requests, every deadlock can be broken.

Just as an expert locksmith can open any lock and a skilled craftsman can sculpt any jade, those with true wisdom can resolve any situation. We can use a gentle heart, compassion, the nod of the head, or a few kind words to resolve deadlocks. As long as we are sincere, we can melt the ice and snow of a stalemate. If we are willing to compromise, we can surely break any deadlock!