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How to Be Diplomatic

Being diplomatic is also sometimes referred to as keeping your opinions to yourself or being a people-pleaser , but diplomacy doesn’t necessarily mean not voicing your opinions or making yourself heard. To be diplomatic means to evaluate a situation before speaking or acting and to take the best course of action without being overly brash or bold. It takes the ability to interpret things, a little subtlety, and knowing how and what to say to be diplomatic. While diplomacy can be difficult in certain situations, especially in those that personally affect you or that involve something you feel strongly about, a few basic tips and reminders can make it easy to be diplomatic in everyday life situations.


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    Think before you act. Even if you’re angry or feeling offended, take a second to breathe and think things through before you say or do anything. If you have to, actually think, “Breathe!” in your head to keep yourself calm. It might seem difficult, but taking that extra second to evaluate the situation will keep you from seeming hot-headed or presumptuous.
    • It’s especially important if you’re in a public situation, like addressing a rude salesperson in a retail setting or trying to address the issue of an unruly child that’s disrupting your meal from the next table at a busy restaurant.
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    Focus on the facts of the situation. Take a moment to step back and evaluate the situation objectively and assess the factual information before you without including your emotions.
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    Use decisive language. Speak clearly in simple language so that the person or people you’re addressing won’t misunderstand your points.
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    Be non-confrontational. It’s okay to be assertive, and assertiveness can even help you get your diplomatic points heard, but avoid language that could be heard as confrontational or overly aggressive.
    • Try simply saying, “No” instead of saying, “There’s no way…” or, “You’ve got to be kidding”.
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    Avoid highly emotional situations. If you are involved in a discussion that’s already emotional charged or argumentative, your attempts to be diplomatic will go unheard. Try again later.
    • Suggest to the parties involved that everyone take a break and return to the conversation in five minutes when calm has returned.
    • Offer to mediate a discussion once everyone has relaxed and cooled off. Being a mediator will allow you to be diplomatic with everyone involved without anyone feeling that you’re taking sides.
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    Refuse to be interrupted.
    • Politely ask that the person interrupting you allow you to finish your thought and continue with your statement.
    • Ask them to continue their thought after you’ve finished.
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    Choose a diplomatic posture.
    • Use neutral body language to get your diplomatic point across. Look other people squarely in the eye when speaking and use a calm tone of voice.
    • Relax any parts of your body that can become tense during opinionated discussions, like your hands, shoulders and brows.
    • Avoid waving your hands when you talk as this can be viewed as aggressive or distracting.
    • Don’t think that you have to smile or laugh every two seconds to be diplomatic. Being overly friendly will make you appear facetious and your colleagues will take you less seriously.
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    Stand your ground.
    • Being diplomatic means standing up for yourself, so do it. Be firm in your responses and opinions and stand by them.


  • Practice makes perfect. You should practice diplomacy wherever you go.
  • Diplomacy comes from inside. Never fake a fact to prove yourself correct. Just tell them your part in a positive manner by counting all the plus points about it.
  • Practice diplomacy with your friend.
  • Many great books offer tips on diplomacy. You can try to read as many as you can to learn this important skill. "How to Win Friends and Influence People," written by Dale Carnegie, offers a lot of excellent advice on this subject.


  • Be careful with the use of the word "No." You should try to listen well to others' point of view and agree that you understand their point of view, though not necessarily agreeing with what they said.

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Categories: Social Interactions