When someone speaks harshly to you, how do you typically respond? With anger? Hostility? In a manner that escalates the conflict? In the book of Proverbs, Solomon - the wisest man who ever lived - shared this sage wisdom: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). It’s a life lesson we all need to learn. When someone criticizes us - with anger, disrespect, or hostility - we have a choice to make. We can choose to respond with the very same intensity, thereby fueling wrathful flames. Which will only escalate the problem. Or we can follow Solomon’s advice, and reply with a soft answer. With a calm and peaceful disposition. One which invites healing and paves the way toward resolution. Which will deescalate the situation. Even a soft answer, such as, “That’s a good point. A great insight. Thanks for sharing it,” can defuse the intensity of an argument. And by doing so, you’ll likely keep your friendships intact. The next time you’re met with hostility, remember: A soft answer turns away wrath.