Tongue Fu!: How to Deflect, Disarm, & Difuse Any Verbal Conflict


If you've ever been tongue-tied - or if you've ever given a tongue-lashing (and regretted it), Tongue Fu! offers constructive alternatives that will turn hostility into harmony and help you avoid a mental breakdown in the face of aggression. With straightforward strategies and proven techniques, Tongue Fu! examines almost every kind of verbal conflict - from fights with your spouse or a stalemate with the kids - and shows how to use martial arts for the mind and mouth to deflect attacks, disarm disputes, and ...

See more details below
$10.78 price
(Save 32%)$15.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (86) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $8.63   
  • Used (74) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


If you've ever been tongue-tied - or if you've ever given a tongue-lashing (and regretted it), Tongue Fu! offers constructive alternatives that will turn hostility into harmony and help you avoid a mental breakdown in the face of aggression. With straightforward strategies and proven techniques, Tongue Fu! examines almost every kind of verbal conflict - from fights with your spouse or a stalemate with the kids - and shows how to use martial arts for the mind and mouth to deflect attacks, disarm disputes, and defuse any explosive situation. With Tongue Fu! you will learn words to use (and words to lose) in tense situations, the power of the phrase "You're right," the tools to use when people push your "hot buttons," how to handle a verbal bully who enjoys attacking and tormenting, how to gracefully exit an argument, what to say when you don't know what to say, how to use silence to your advantage, how to be pleasantly unpleasant, and how to take charge of your emotions.

Tongue Fu! is a handbook for verbal self-defense that provides dozens of real-life, constructive alternatives to giving a tongue lashing or to being tongue-tied. Tongue Fu! is destined to be a classic!"--Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. 240 pp. National author publicity. 35,000 print.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a great book! Tongue Fu! puts a new twist on communiction. Everyone should read it.!"--John Gray, author of Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus

"Tongue Fu! is a practical and easy-to-read book on the important topic of interpersonal relationships. Many stories beautifully illustrate the immediate, usable ideas on how to get along better with just about anyone, anytime, anywhere. The world would be a more peaceful and harmonious place if people practiced the enduring principles presented in this book. Tongue Fu! is destined to be a classic."--Jack Canfield, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul

"Tongue Fu! is filled with delightful tools for keeping both feet on the ground instead of in the mouth. Both young and old need to learn its lessons for creating connection instead of alienation."--Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and End the Struggle and Dance with Life

"This book is a gold mine for anyone who deals with the public. The great strength lies in two things. First are Horn's unimpeachable ideas. She's added to the legacy of ideas on dealing with people left by Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Dale Carngie, and many others. That takes skill. Second are the examples she uses. This a comprehensive manual for getting ahead--while inviting others to join you."--Executive Book Summaries

"In this delightful book, I found many gems of practical wisdom for everyday life. Among books on effective communication and improved relationships, this is one of the finest ever seen. An important work--fun to read, learn from, and apply."--Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior and The Laws of Spirit

"Frustrated? Try some verbal kung fu. These verbal techniques for 'fast-forwarding through frustration' help keep inner harmony."--the Chicago Tribune

"This is a terrific book, full of verbal 're-engineering' designed to refocus us toward greater fulfillment in our dialogues with others through better communication."--Anthony Robbins, author of Awaken the Giant Within and Unlimited Power

Library Journal
The purpose of Kung Fu, the Chinese art of self-defense, is to fend off physical attacks. According to professional speaker and consultant Horn, the purpose of Tongue Fu, a spoken form of self-defense, is to guard against psychological attacks. Dealing with difficult people is a part of everyday life. However, by focusing on real-life responses to verbal challenges instead of theories and platitudes, the author has delivered a convenient handbook for the mental martial art of verbal self-protection. Divided into four sections, the book offers techniques and skills for responding thoughtfully in conflicts, expressing honest feelings and goals, seeking cooperation in difficult situations, and living a life of value during trying times. Each of the 30 chapters offers examples that demonstrate the expected goals and acquired skills in action. Despite its suggestively prurient title, Horn's book is a lively, positive guide that can be returned to time and again. A popular title for all public library collections.-David R. Johnson, Fayetteville P.L., Ark.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312152277
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 321,184
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Horn, president of Action Seminars, has given workshops to 350,000 people in more than fifty cities across the country and has also written Concrete Confidence. She hosts a weekly radio show called Sam Says on Maui's most-listened-to station, KLHI. Tongue Fu! has been featured in Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, Reader's Digest, and USA Today, to name a few. Her impressive client list includes Young President's Organization, Hewlett-Packard, U.S. Navy, the IRS, American Bankers Association, and Four Seasons Hotels. She is a member of the National Speakers Organization, and she lives in Maui, Hawaii, with her family.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
Author's Note xv
Part I. Respond Rather Than React
1. Fast-Forward Through Frustration 3
2. Handle Hassles with Fun Fu! 12
3. Talk People Through Their Troubles 20
4. End Complaints Instantly 26
5. Gracefully Exit Arguments 35
6. Name the Game 42
7. Tongue Glue 48
8. What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say 55
9. Find Solutions, Not Fault 62
Part II. Words to Lose, Words to Use
10. Acknowledge, Don't Argue 71
11. Become a Coach, Not a Critic 77
12. Turn Orders Into Requests 82
13. Clear Away the "Can't Because" Barrier 88
14. Become Problem Free 94
15. Avoid Going to Extremes 99
Part III. Turn Conflicts into Cooperation
16. Listen Up! 109
17. Rules for Unruly Behavior 116
18. Defuse Disputes 124
19. Approach with an Open Mind 129
20. Share Control 135
Part IV. Get More of What You Want, Need, and Deserve
21. Choose Your Battles 145
22. Say No 152
23. Terminate Tactfully 160
24. Act and Feel Confident 168
25. Five Principles of Persuasion 177
26. Break Free from Bullies 185
27. Give People a Fresh Start 193
28. Take Charge of Your Emotions! 199
29. Maintain a Positive Perspective 206
30. Ki'Em with Kindness 214
Epilogue: Turn Intentions into Actions 224
Postscript 231
Recommended Reading 233
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2001

    Kick 'Buts' out of your life forever!

    Sam Horn provides an easy to read and practical book on conflict and communication. An example is the replacement of the word 'but' for 'and.' As a consultant and professor in the field of conflict resolution I can testify as to the validity of many of her ideas found in the book. I have seen them work in my professional and personal experiences.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Book

    My boss bought me this book back in 1997 due to my overwhelming need for it. Unfortunately for him, I only read it this month (July 09). Better late than never.

    I found the book to be somewhat useful, easy to read book on interpersonal relationships. The book uses many stories to show us how to get along with almost anyone. While this is a great and worthwhile goal, it really misses the point for those like me that simply don't worry about trying to please everyone. Indeed, due to differences in philosophy, temperament and attitude, there are some people that I avoid or tolerate rather than use the tactics contained in this book. I don't HAVE to get along with everybody.

    Still yet, Tongue Fu contains a lot of practical wisdom for the working world and home life. Although I am still waiting for a book that can teach me how to win an argument with my wife.

    In addition to this book, I found Gerry Spence's book How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday to be one of the best in this arena. Also I would highly recommend Don't Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns That Limit Success.

    I hope you find this review helpful.

    Michael L.Gooch, SPHR

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2006

    A great book!

    I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to increase the effectiveness of their communication, or anyone seeking practical ideas for improving customer service. Very effective techniques, with witty references and creative strategies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2002


    This book is okay. I borrowed it from the library. Thank goodness I didn't buy it. Borrow it. It's not all that good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)