Conflict happens. We all know this. But it quickly can be calmed by a simple, kind response.

At a recent men’s league softball game I played in, a young man started hurling F-bombs when he was thrown out at first and the first baseman called him out along with the umpire.

As it turns out, the first baseman batted first as his team came off the field and the angry batter was now the catcher.

As the first baseman came to the plate, the catcher started to continue the argument.

The first baseman simply put both hands up in a stop sign and said, “I’m sorry. I meant you no disrespect. I’m afraid I got caught up in the excitement of the last play. Please forgive me.”

End of conflict.

When the game ended and the teams shook hands as they left the field of play, the catcher again approached the first baseman. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m afraid I overreacted. Please accept my apology.”

Treating people with dignity by showing them respect and offering others a second chance – these are not just teachings of Verbal Defense and Influence. They are words to live by.