Laughing matters.

The most powerful interrupter of all kinds of ugly conflict is tactical listening. The kind of listening where you prove, with your words, tone and actions, that you have heard and understood the other person. Even as you continue to totally (utterly!) disagree. …

Hint: Let them see you sweat.

Right now, all over the world, people are making impossible decisions. Ones that someone — somewhere — will hate, regardless. Whether to mandate vaccines or masks. Whether to reopen offices. Whether to laugh or cry.

There is not always an obvious right answer, but…

I got five — five! — minutes to testify about how to fix it.

Amanda Ripley

The other day, I got an unexpected invitation: could I come testify about how Congress could get itself out of toxic conflict?

On the one hand, hallelujah! This is the question that Congress should be asking itself every single day, if it ever wants to function again.


And a four-step formula for handling sudden flashes of conflict, courtesy of “Bus Driver Dan.”

One fall evening when my son was about 9 years old, I was riding on a bus in Washington, DC, taking him to his martial arts class. We were chatting along, talking about his day, when all of a sudden, from the row immediately behind us, I heard two men…

We’re bewitched by high conflict. But there is a way out.

This is a true story about two grown women who stopped talking to each other. For 30 years. Over a piece of cheese.

A century ago, two sisters named Anna and Maria immigrated to America from Italy, raising their families side by side in central New Jersey, working hard to…

Flowers growing around barbed wire in Peru. Credit: Amanda Ripley

I didn’t know James Bennet very well, but when I wrote for him at the Atlantic, I found him to be unusually humble and curious. He did not assume he had all the answers. He listened when other people talked. I admired that about him. My sense is that the…

The outrageous price of a U.S. degree is unique in the world

Before the automobile, before the Statue of Liberty, before the vast majority of contemporary colleges existed, the rising cost of higher education was shocking the American conscience: “Gentlemen have to pay for their sons in one year more than they spent themselves in the whole four years of their course,”…

Amanda Ripley

Journalist & NY Times bestselling author. Most recent book: HIGH CONFLICT: Why We Get Trapped & How We Get Out (Prev: SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD & UNTHINKABLE)

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