Post Reopened by user15922, Greek - Area 51 Proposal, enlighten_me, avazula, GretchenV
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Situation 
My older sibling has an irascible personality and kept complaining about all the anecdotal and hypothetical ways on how the way she uses social media discomforts others, aiming to win the argument because in their mind, this will change mom's behavior. It got bad. My other sibling withdrew from the argument when we noticed our older sibling had lost their cool.

Situation My older sibling has an irascible personality and kept complaining about all the anecdotal and hypothetical ways on how the way she uses social media discomforts others, aiming to win the argument because in their mind, this will change mom's behavior. It got bad. My other sibling withdrew from the argument when we noticed our older sibling had lost their cool.

Situation 
My older sibling has an irascible personality and kept complaining about all the anecdotal and hypothetical ways on how the way she uses social media discomforts others, aiming to win the argument because in their mind, this will change mom's behavior. It got bad. My other sibling withdrew from the argument when we noticed our older sibling had lost their cool.

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The objectiveObjective
To widen my repertoire of techniques to actively avoid being a bystander of abuseDefusing wrath without offending the person.

The contextContext
So theThe other day we were at my sibling's home having a great time until an old issue came up about someone who doesn't knowcomplained about how to use the mobile version of facebook andmom makes awkward mistakes like reposting a relative's picture tagging our family instead of posting to the family's private groupusing social media.

So, initiallyInitially my siblingsiblings and I seemed to have the same goal, to remind mom about being careful on what she does in social media because people tend to be sensitive aboutavoid hurting sensibilities or cause misunderstandings.

  Mom tried to explain the steps she took as to let us know she had been careful. This lead me to understand she didn't know how to use the mobile version, even if she knew how to do of the same on desktopapp. It was the end of the issue for me and I tried to change the conversation.

But my siblingsiblings went on and on trying to educate momcomplaining, which in turn became about their own misunderstandings and lack of healthy communication. Mom was fast to recognize itthat and brought her concernconcerns to the table on how they're not exchanging more fulfilling emotionscommunication.

But myTo be clear, weaker target doesn't necessarily mean weaker person, in this particular situation mom was in a weaker position because she is staying at their place.

Situation My older sibling has an irascible personality and kept complaining about all the anecdotal and hypothetical ways on how the way she uses social media discomforts others, aiming to win the argument because in their mind, this will change mom's behavior. It got bad. My other sibling withdrew from the argument when we noticed our older sibling had lost their cool.

The yelling didn't stop even when our older sibling noticed and pointed out how mom's breathing became agitated and instead of taking that as a cue to go easier on her or choose a better time to try againtalk about the issue (or recognizing their own breathing was more agitated too, for that matter), instead took it as an additional cuething to criticizejudge her character pointing out it was frustrating she would get defensive instead of accepting she was doing something wrong. Getting more angry.

Failing to see the bigger picture, went on and on complaining and highlighting the same "point" from different perspectives which by now was pointless because mom was already on half-listening mode, looking down at her phone feeling anxious, doing shy gestures and all types of non-verbal cues my sibling seemed incapable of noticing under wrathful mode. Mom was effectively taking a verbal beating, and my attempt to intervene was countered with a dismissive lash-out.

HowThe technique I usually handle itknow:
Having been ineffectively dismissed fromI have some psychological training and I've found the engagementreflection strategy to be very effective even if confrontational, this puts the pressure on me rather than the original target. My
The reflection strategy isworks for similar reasons that a mirror on a room deters inappropriate behavior, but there were no mirrors around for zir to let my siblingsee zirself on this angry state.

The reflection strategy can come out as childish if used incorrectly, it consists in letting the person talk until something useful camecomes from their own mouth, when an argument about "taking wise decisions with an even tempered mind" was angrily uttered I mimicked the word's usedand use it to dismiss me fromhighlight their argument to display the same type of hot headed phrase used against me and then I reminded how that attitude is not "wise nor even tempered". Which has double effect at showing howwrong behavior by mimicking their own wordsline and their own demeanor contradicts their supposed reason to remain engaged in a fightattitude.

This is not the first time I use that tactic, it usually has success ranging from mild to great, at the very least resulting in the argument going down in a decremental tone which I understand people do to disguise the fact that they recognize their mistake but still had a point in their argument after all. But this time didn't work well because my sibling has additional emotions against me and being older than me, won't see me as an authority or even a valid participant.

My last attempt was to point out mom was already defensive and any further attempt to communicate under the same agressiveaggressive terms would fail. This fact hit a spot, but the beating went on, regardless. 

HowThe technique I improvisedhad to improvise:
Detecting I had an ally on the table, the spouse who was noticeable anxious about the possibility of me and my sibling escalating the conflict, I invited the rest of individuals present at the table for a table/board game, the spouse was fast to concur and went for the cards and sat next to me and started shuffling them.

The result
Another of my siblings rejected My other sibling declined to participate, but the spousespouse's involvement was enough to break the tone that dominated the surrounding space and the argument went on fast decline until my previously angry sibling asked for cards to be handed to them before their spouse finished shuffling, then made us wait until finishing some sentences already on their mind before lifting the handed cards from the table, but that didn't take too long, about less than 2 mins. That last gesture made it clear about their intent to dominate the space, but that is just one single element of everything that was going on. Mom refusing to play after the argument was done was her way to convey she didn't feel welcomed. We didn't keep playing but the episode was over (I can't call it fight because it was unilateral).

The follow upaftermath
I was left with a bad taste of mouth -so to speak-, but whatWhat made me feel uneasynotice this wasn't the best method was that my sibling is not an asshole but my intervention made everyone see in this particular case, that wasnotice their asshole behavior, additionally, I was worried about Mom's feelings. So after half the table showed no interest to play and the rest couldn't decide what to play and the conversation went stale, I got up and said that I felt like taking a walk around the neighborhood to "digest the sugar" as a pretext and I invited mom to tag along, she was fast to join and went to change her shoes, meanwhile, my sibling looked like feeling guilty, we all needed to switch scenario so I invited everyone to tag along, I specifically invited him/her. My intention was to convey a "let's all calm down, let's leave this behind". The answerresponse was actually much more positive than I expected, but then they remembered the neighborhood had been having public light issues and all the streetlights were off. Being convinced that we all needed to switch scenario I went out anyways to confirm all the lights were out and little by little everyone started to join, and we ended up outside looking at the stars and having a good time again.

While I sort of consider the night a success, and while I know they have their own relationship to fix, I would like to have additional ideas on alternate methods I could try to follow if I'm present in the room and intervene more effectively to avoid my mom taking verbal abuse and my sibling feeling guilty.

To be clear, my mom is a strong person but in this particular situation she was in a weaker position because she is staying at their place because she wants to spend time with her granddaughters.
I'm sick and tiredWhile I sort of mom being anyone's punching bagconsider the night a success, and while I already defused Dad (to some degree/extent), I'm failing with this particular sibling.
Being her favorite son is niceknow they have their own relationship to fix, but that is not my objective. I'd appreciate a strategy that doesn't make my siblings feel less lovedI would like to know an alternate method.  

How can I tactfully defuse anger before it escalates to protect a target from taking verbal abuse?

The objective
To widen my repertoire of techniques to actively avoid being a bystander of abuse.

The context
So the other day we were at my sibling's home having a great time until an old issue came up about someone who doesn't know how to use the mobile version of facebook and makes mistakes like reposting a relative's picture tagging our family instead of posting to the family's private group.

So, initially my sibling and I seemed to have the same goal, to remind mom about being careful on what she does in social media because people tend to be sensitive about misunderstandings.

  Mom tried to explain the steps she took as to let us know she had been careful. This lead me to understand she didn't know how to use the mobile version, even if she knew how to do the same on desktop. It was the end of the issue for me and I tried to change the conversation.

But my sibling went on and on trying to educate mom, which in turn became about their own misunderstandings and lack of healthy communication. Mom was fast to recognize it and brought her concern to the table on how they're not exchanging more fulfilling emotions.

But my sibling has an irascible personality and kept complaining about all the anecdotal and hypothetical ways on how the way she uses social media discomforts others, aiming to win the argument because in their mind, this will change mom's behavior. It got bad. My sibling even pointed out how mom's breathing became agitated and instead of taking that as a cue to go easier on her or choose a better time to try again (or recognizing their own breathing was agitated too for that matter), took it as an additional cue to criticize her character pointing out it was frustrating she would get defensive instead of accepting she was doing something wrong. Getting more angry.

Failing to see the bigger picture, went on and on complaining and highlighting the same "point" from different perspectives which by now was pointless because mom was already on half-listening mode, looking down at her phone feeling anxious, doing shy gestures and all types of non-verbal cues my sibling seemed incapable of noticing under wrathful mode. Mom was effectively taking a verbal beating, and my attempt to intervene was countered with a dismissive lash-out.

How I usually handle it:
Having been ineffectively dismissed from the engagement. My strategy is to let my sibling talk until something useful came from their own mouth, when an argument about "taking wise decisions with an even tempered mind" was angrily uttered I mimicked the word's used to dismiss me from their argument to display the same type of hot headed phrase used against me and then I reminded how that attitude is not "wise nor even tempered". Which has double effect at showing how their own words and their own demeanor contradicts their supposed reason to remain engaged in a fight.

This is not the first time I use that tactic, it usually has success ranging from mild to great, at the very least resulting in the argument going down in a decremental tone which I understand people do to disguise the fact that they recognize their mistake but still had a point in their argument after all. But this time didn't work well because my sibling has additional emotions against me and being older than me, won't see me as an authority or even a valid participant.

My last attempt was to point out mom was already defensive and any further attempt to communicate under the same agressive terms would fail. This fact hit a spot, but the beating went on, regardless.

How I improvised:
Detecting I had an ally on the table, the spouse who was noticeable anxious about the possibility of me and my sibling escalating the conflict, I invited the rest of individuals present at the table for a table/board game, the spouse was fast to concur and went for the cards and sat next to me and started shuffling them.

The result
Another of my siblings rejected to participate, but the spouse involvement was enough to break the tone that dominated the surrounding space and the argument went on fast decline until my sibling asked for cards to be handed to them before their spouse finished shuffling, then made us wait until finishing some sentences already on their mind before lifting the handed cards from the table, but that didn't take too long, about less than 2 mins. That last gesture made it clear about their intent to dominate the space, but that is just one single element of everything that was going on. Mom refusing to play after the argument was done was her way to convey she didn't feel welcomed. We didn't keep playing but the episode was over (I can't call it fight because it was unilateral).

The follow up
I was left with a bad taste of mouth -so to speak-, but what made me feel uneasy was that my sibling is not an asshole but my intervention made everyone see in this particular case, that was asshole behavior, additionally, I was worried about Mom's feelings. So after half the table showed no interest to play and the rest couldn't decide what to play and the conversation went stale, I got up and said that I felt like taking a walk around the neighborhood to "digest the sugar" as a pretext and I invited mom to tag along, she was fast to join and went to change her shoes, meanwhile, my sibling looked like feeling guilty, I invited everyone to tag along, I specifically invited him/her. My intention was to convey a "let's all calm down, let's leave this behind". The answer was actually much more positive than I expected, but then they remembered the neighborhood had been having public light issues and all the streetlights were off. Being convinced that we all needed to switch scenario I went out anyways to confirm all the lights were out and little by little everyone started to join, and we ended up outside looking at the stars and having a good time again.

While I sort of consider the night a success, and while I know they have their own relationship to fix, I would like to have additional ideas on alternate methods I could try to follow if I'm present in the room and intervene more effectively to avoid my mom taking verbal abuse and my sibling feeling guilty.

To be clear, my mom is a strong person but in this particular situation she was in a weaker position because she is staying at their place because she wants to spend time with her granddaughters.
I'm sick and tired of mom being anyone's punching bag, and while I already defused Dad (to some degree/extent), I'm failing with this particular sibling.
Being her favorite son is nice, but that is not my objective. I'd appreciate a strategy that doesn't make my siblings feel less loved.  

Objective
Defusing wrath without offending the person.

Context
The other day we were at my sibling's home having a great time until someone complained about how mom makes awkward mistakes using social media.

Initially my siblings and I seemed to have the same goal, to remind mom about being careful on what she does in social media to avoid hurting sensibilities or cause misunderstandings. Mom tried to explain the steps she took as to let us know she had been careful. This lead me to understand she didn't know how to use the mobile version of the app. It was the end of the issue for me and I tried to change the conversation.

But my siblings went on and on complaining, which became about their own misunderstandings and lack of healthy communication. Mom was fast to recognize that and brought her concerns to the table on how they're not exchanging more fulfilling communication.

To be clear, weaker target doesn't necessarily mean weaker person, in this particular situation mom was in a weaker position because she is staying at their place.

Situation My older sibling has an irascible personality and kept complaining about all the anecdotal and hypothetical ways on how the way she uses social media discomforts others, aiming to win the argument because in their mind, this will change mom's behavior. It got bad. My other sibling withdrew from the argument when we noticed our older sibling had lost their cool.

The yelling didn't stop even when our older sibling noticed and pointed out how mom's breathing became agitated and instead of taking that as a cue to go easier on her or choose a better time to talk about the issue (or recognizing their own breathing was more agitated, for that matter), instead took it as an additional thing to judge her character. Failing to see the bigger picture, went on and on complaining and highlighting the same "point" from different perspectives which by now was pointless because mom was already on half-listening mode, looking down at her phone feeling anxious, doing shy gestures and all types of non-verbal cues my sibling seemed incapable of noticing under wrathful mode. Mom was effectively taking a verbal beating, and my attempt to intervene was countered with a dismissive lash-out.

The technique I know:
I have some psychological training and I've found the reflection strategy to be very effective even if confrontational, this puts the pressure on me rather than the original target.
The reflection strategy works for similar reasons that a mirror on a room deters inappropriate behavior, but there were no mirrors around for zir to see zirself on this angry state.

The reflection strategy can come out as childish if used incorrectly, it consists in letting the person talk until something useful comes from their own mouth, and use it to highlight their wrong behavior by mimicking their own line and their own attitude.

This is not the first time I use that tactic, it usually has success ranging from mild to great, at the very least resulting in the argument going down in a decremental tone. But this time didn't work well.

My last attempt was to point out mom was already defensive and any further attempt to communicate under the same aggressive terms would fail. This fact hit a spot, but the beating went on, regardless. 

The technique I had to improvise:
Detecting I had an ally on the table, the spouse who was noticeable anxious about the possibility of me and my sibling escalating the conflict, I invited the rest of individuals present at the table for a table/board game, the spouse was fast to concur and went for the cards and sat next to me and started shuffling them.

My other sibling declined to participate, but the spouse's involvement was enough to break the tone that dominated the surrounding space and the argument went on fast decline until my previously angry sibling asked for cards to be handed to them before their spouse finished shuffling, then made us wait until finishing some sentences already on their mind before lifting the handed cards from the table, but that didn't take too long, about less than 2 mins. That last gesture made it clear about their intent to dominate the space, but that is just one single element of everything that was going on. Mom refusing to play after the argument was done was her way to convey she didn't feel welcomed. We didn't keep playing but the episode was over (I can't call it fight because it was unilateral).

The aftermath
What made me notice this wasn't the best method was that my sibling is not an asshole but my intervention made everyone notice their asshole behavior, additionally, I was worried about Mom's feelings. So after half the table showed no interest to play and the rest couldn't decide what to play and the conversation went stale, I got up and said that I felt like taking a walk around the neighborhood to "digest the sugar" as a pretext and invited mom to tag along, she was fast to join and went to change her shoes, meanwhile, my sibling looked like feeling guilty, we all needed to switch scenario so I invited everyone to tag along, I specifically invited him/her. My intention was to convey a "let's calm down, let's leave this behind". The response was actually much more positive than I expected and we ended up outside looking at the stars and having a good time again.

While I sort of consider the night a success, and while I know they have their own relationship to fix, I would like to know an alternate method.

How can I tactfully defuse anger before it escalates to protect a target from taking verbal abuse?

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    Post Closed as "unclear what you're asking" by sphennings, Arwen Undómiel, user15922, curiousdannii, Jess K.
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4 Please don't attack well meaning users with commentary like that, remember to Be Nice: https://interpersonal.stackexchange.com/help/be-nice
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