When a quarrel begins, some people seek total victory and the annihilation of their counterparts’ stances. In anger, many resort to the no-holds-barred approach to a disagreement. But heated candor can easily spiral into the use of ugly language, cheap shots, name-calling and yelling. After the smoke clears, your in-the-moment enemy is still your life partner, sibling, best friend, parent or colleague. Unfortunately, the negative memories of those nasty, thoughtless comments you made may linger for a while. Now what?

The time to think is before a conflict arises. It’s crucial that we treat the personal relationships we value with the care they deserve. Many individuals talk about the concept of mindfulness, or purposely focusing one’s attention on the here and now while limiting judgment, solely as an integral component of meditation. Mindfulness can also create monumental shifts in how people approach their daily interactions, particularly arguments. An important element of the theory is acceptance. Some folks rarely acknowledge the true emotions behind a falling-out because that might lead to feelings of vulnerability. But honesty is a powerful and disarming weapon. People can debate the worthiness of their opinions and can wrangle over the veracity of statements. Still, no one can dispute how an action made you feel.

Here are some simple things to consider in order to mindfully engage with others when you’re upset:

> Everyone is important.
In our everyday experiences, we all deal with real people who have emotions, back stories, stressors and fears. When looking at how you speak to another individual, how you rate his or her worth and how you listen to the person, remember that we all seek and deserve happiness in the grand scheme of things.

Read more in the June 2015 issue of EBONY Magazine.