At the club, my sister laughingly pointed and said, “Look! They are going to fight!”
I turned and observed two young, scowling men posturing, chest out, fists clenched, poised to fight. I walked over to the two angry men and said, “Excuse me. Would either of you like to dance?” Both men turned their heads toward me. One man stuttered and said, “What?” I repeated. Then he said, “Oh, no, I’m here with my girlfriend.” As if by magic, both men turned away from each other and walked in other directions.
I was afraid as I approached those two young men. I couldn’t have known what would happen, but oftentimes kindness, empathy, and compassion are the best and easiest de-escalators if we think to use them.
And what if I had been a man? How might I have diffused the situation? Maybe I still would have approached them smiling, but maybe I would have offered to buy them a drink instead?