Yes, we all know that conflict is a bad thing. We know it should be avoided at all cost, yet when faced with it, most of us are consumed by that insatiable rage-moster. And it’s especially hard at school. Throw a thousand completely different, hormonal teenagers together and the last thing on their minds when they disagree is going to be : “Let’s talk this out like mature adults.” Still, it is the general opinion that the few textbook resolutions to conflict in our Life Orientation books are enough to keep the peace. It’s not. So, here’s a few tips on how to handle conflict, for teenagers.
- Always have a tasty snack with you to give as a peace-offering. This will also work with money or gum.
- When in a disagreement with someone, always get an objective third party to give their opinion. Note: OBJECTIVE means they won’t be influenced by either of you. Your best friend or the other person’s ex does not count.
- Calm down... Is what the textbook would say. Or, as it is more commonly known: “Take a chill pill.” Yet we all know that isn’t so easy. So, just have a chaotic rage-session in your head where you tell the person exactly how you feel. Then, remove all the offensive, rude words and start speaking.
- Never enter an argument when you’re hungry or just received your science marks. It will make you extra angry and you will enter a full-fledged argument.
- When you lose the argument,
SHUT UP!please stop speaking. (See what I did there?) Continuing to argue when you know you are wrong will only make you look like a sore loser and fewer people will respect your opinions.
- When you are dealing with somebody who refuses to accept that they’re wrong, walk away. Tell them that they are entitled to their opinion and stop arguing. If they want to look stupid, it’s on their heads.
- Don’t fall in the same trap twice. Stay away from those that you know are constantly seeking out arguments for the sole purpose of winning it and feeling superior. It’s not worth it.
- Don’t play the devil’s advocate. Yes, we all know them. They are the ones who would abandon their food at breaktime to go stand on the sidelines, chanting “fight,fight,fight!” Even though they have no idea what the argument is about... Please don’t. Rather spend your time resolving conflicts than encouraging them.
There you have it!
It’s no use pretending that it’s easy to resolve conflict. It’s incredibly difficult. But if you follow these eight steps, you might find out that it’s not as hard to avoid conflict as it appears to be. So, stop arguing over whether One Direction is better than Justin Bieber and focus on the aspects that make them both good (or bad...)
“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it.” – Dorothy Thomas