One of the more amazing things I have learned recently is how people naturally underestimate their own force and escalate to compensate for the perceived force of others.

Check out this experiment: one person was asked to squeeze another person on the forearm.

That person was then asked to squeeze the first person back on their forearm and to do so with equal pressure.

Get it? One person squeezes. The other person feels squeezes back with equal pressure.

Simple, right?

It NEVER worked.

Why? Because researchers found that each time the squeeze was passed it INCREASED by 40% until, soon, they were squeezing each other 18 times harder than the original squeeze.

AND (this is key) the participants could not perceive the escalation in squeeze pressure.

Cool, yes. AND, more importantly, it’s something we should remember in ALL human interactions — physical and emotional.

Today, let’s discuss how we can consciously de-escalate situations that are naturally trying to escalate.