Conflicts can be frustrating.
Not everyone clicks in the real world. Even if you are the friendliest person on earth, you might find that you will still face conflicts with certain people every now and then.
It’s quite unavoidable in life, what more at the school where you spend most of your days and usually with those who you are familiar with.
With people you don’t know, perhaps a bad day or simply an accidental brush on shoulders could have sparked a conflict.
With those you hang out with every other day, you might find it too overbearing when you face difficult coming to an agreement or the lack of proper communication.
How do we prevent conflicts then? What do we do when we already have conflicts?
Conflicts can make or break your connections, can be good or bad depending on how you handle the situation.
For example, some of those who started on the wrong track may find that their conflicts worsen to the extent that no one wants to speak with each other.
It’s more awkward when you both have common friends and your friends tend to feel that they have to take sides. On the other hand, you could be starting off on the wrong foot and end up being the best of mates together.
However, you view it, learning how to manage conflicts can help you build up your people management skills and especially on how to handle difficult people in time to come.
Conflict Vs Bully
There is a difference in coming head-on with conflicts or being bullies to others.
While bullying is obvious, sometimes it could occur as a result of conflicts. In times when others are tempted to take sides, it is difficult to move forward or come to a resolution when too many people get involved.
What started out as differences in values or opinions could end up in bouts of sarcasm, debates, quarrels, fights or being treated as an outcast, which could hamper anyone’s confidence to a certain extent.
If you find yourself being bullied or being the target of bullying, do not keep quiet about it.
Speak up for yourself (or for others who are being bullied) with someone of authority. The longer you keep mum about it, the more you suffer, the more your confidence get impacted and the more difficult you will find yourself trying to stand up for yourself or others with time.
When conflicts surface, it is usually due to incongruent views, opinions, beliefs or thoughts among individuals.
What you think is right may not be right to others, what you feel should be done a certain way may not convenient others, or what others deem helpful may not seem any help to you at all.
The reason conflicts happen is when you don’t see eye to eye with each other.
As our teenage stage, we tend to feel more easily provoked or challenged when someone questions us or disagrees with us right in our face. We are tempted to rebuke, but holding our fire at this point can save us a lot of frustrations later on, especially when we’re talking about our relationship with our good/best friends here.
When you face conflicts in schools with your classmates or schoolmates it is easy to feel unfairness, anger or prejudiced. At home, conflicts can easily break into voice wars or even fights among siblings.
When conflicts arise, it is important that we weigh the consequences and if it’s worth bringing up as compared to keeping the relationship harmonious.
However, if you find yourself feeling grumpier and more disgruntled each time a little conflict arises and you try to brush it away, beware now because you might cause your emotions erupt sooner or later.
When conflicts are not resolved and attempted to be buried, it can easily lead to arguments from very little matters.
If you find yourself having different viewpoints than others, don’t worry, you’re not alone. If you find yourself disagreeing with others, you are not wrong too. You have your say in your opinions.
You have the rights and choice to voice out and maintain your stand.
We can all choose to agree to disagree.
If you find yourself trying to find consensus while others are pushing their agendas, you are doing the right thing even though there are others who might persuade you to give in.
If you find yourself trying to rebuke for the sake of objecting, disagreeing because you dislike them, rejecting others for the sake of your agenda or if you find yourself trying to get others to conform to you, it’s probably time to look into yourself and reflect on your thoughts and actions.
How to Curb or Resolve Conflicts
1. Step Back and Outside of the Situation. Look at the Overall Picture.
While you are the one in conflict, you might feel all those negative emotions arising within you. If you put yourself as an observer towards your situation, you might be able to view the whole issue in a more objective manner.
Usually, at this point in time, you might find yourself feeling less emotional or agitated at the conflict.
2. Aim to Resolve the Conflict as the Problem, not the Person.
Seeing the conflict or matter at hand as the problem, and not the person whom you are dealing with often allows us to think more rationally.
If we were discussing on a topic and we began to disagree, see it as a difference of opinion or that our experience or knowledge may vary, instead of thinking that someone is picking on you.
3. Pay Attention to Yourself.
Look within yourself when you feel offended when conflicts arise.
Are you someone who gets agitated easily? Do you feel that everyone has to listen to you? Are you used to getting your way? Do you desire power and authority? Are you someone who follows your principles straightly, or can you practise flexibility?
Being aware of yourself helps in identifying your faults, as well as others’ easily. This, also gives you the change to work on yourself, your emotions as well as others’, at the same time, learn how to handle others.
4. Manage expectations. Give and Take.
Rather than insisting that things or people follow your way or feeling you have to conform to authority or expectations of others, make it a point to establish common grounds.
Something as simple as showing others respect and expecting the same back from others can easily pave ways for mutual friendship or working relationship to grow.
If you are in a team or group for your assignments, set expectations and guides at the initial stage. This can set the tone for the group.
Examples of setting expectations include:
- it is alright to contribute ideas and not expect them to be accepted.
- it’s okay to voice out your opinions,
- it is okay to disagree and not feel offended,
- everyone agrees to contribute to the success of the project and so on.