This section contains important points on how to defuse, and how to prevent conflicts reaching that point. The purpose of defusing is to manage volatile and sensitive situations in a calm way, without making things worse. Remember, it is how you respond – and not how you feel or want to react – which will determine whether a conflict becomes confrontational.

There are several triggers that can tip the scale – arguments, violence, aggression, nasty comments, being ignored, or disrespecting someone – can all result in serious confrontations. And disputes between neighbours can put an incredible yet unnecessary strain on valuable police and Local Authority resources – not to mention the misery of constantly living in conflict.