Kelly was sharing something personal and Thomas rolled his eyes. Typically Kelly would say something incendiary, Thomas would bark back, then they wouldn’t talk for days. Kelly read about giving feedback instead of reacting and tried it on for size. This time Kelly said, “I don’t appreciate you rolling your eyes.” Thomas was slightly stunned by the change of course and said, “That’s fair.” (A defensive response would have been “No I’m not.”)
In this instance, Kelly respectfully called Thomas out on his eye-rolling, and he was able to be responsive to her feedback. A typical escalation was thwarted by a skilled comment and responsive response—conflict averted.