Conflicts arise on a daily basis, be it with your friends, your classmates, your group-mates, your family or basically anyone you interact with. Often, these conflicts can be easily resolved through clear communication, but we get emotional and a simple conversation turns into a screaming match instead. If you’re not looking to get into an all-out brawl the next time you need to resolve something with someone, follow these tips:
So many conflicts escalate because both parties feel that the other person is undermining their intelligence or their feelings. When we get angry we tend to get condescending or insult the other person involved. As tempting as it may be, do not do this. If you care about the person you’re fighting with, or if you want them to do something for you (i.e. clean something that they spilled something on and ruined, or whatever it may be) you have to treat them as an equal. Discussions are most effective when both parties acknowledge the other person and respect that person’s opinions.
If you’re having a conversation with someone who refuses to respect you and is being blatantly rude to your face, don’t stoop to their level and make it a competition of who can be the most mean. The goal is not to “win” the fight; it’s to resolve a situation and hopefully make the relationship work better in the future. As hard as it is to take the high road, you will thank yourself more in the end for respecting the other person and treating he or she nicely when they were being completely immature, than you will if you rip them apart. Moreover, people will remember you treating another person badly much more clearly than all of the good things that you’ve done for others; bad reputations stick, and you want to be viewed as a kind, understanding person, not someone who can’t handle their anger in a mature way.
Make Your Feelings Clear
All of that being said, it is still important that you make your needs and feelings known in the discussion. You are the only person who can represent yourself in a discussion, and you should do so clearly and concisely. Saying directly: “I want you to clean my shirt that you ruined, or offer to help pay for a new one.” is both fair and respectful, and cannot be misconstrued as being insulting. Making sure that your voice is heard in a clear and respectful way is key to resolving conflicts and moving forward in a relationship. It makes discussions productive, and can help improve interaction in the future while avoiding the unproductive screaming match and the inevitable regrets that come with it.