A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Our natural tendency when questioned and provoked is to answer harshness with harshness. But the wise approach is a humble approach. If we are in the wrong, we should apologize. If we are in the right, we can still answer softly and considerately.
When we respond in the way that we would like to be treated, we can create a peaceful tone that might calm the anger of the other person. Harsh words, on the other hand, are sure to aggravate and escalate the problem.
For more wisdom about communication, see the section on “The Joys and Challenges of Communication.”