Learning to resolve conflicts can help young people break down barriers, become leaders, and even prevent deadly confrontations.
Conflict can be negative – in its ultimate form it can lead to war – but it can also be positive, depending on how it’s resolved. For example, it can help get feelings out in the open, help people learn from disagreements, resolve problems, gain someone more respect, or enable people to learn that others are willing to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. In fact, conflict is a natural human process that doesn’t have to lead to violence; conflict resolution and anger management techniques can provide opportunities for people to grow and improve their relationships and the quality of life of those around them despite the inevitable disagreements that arise.
Conflict Resolution Tips
- How we handle our anger and how we deal with other people who are angry can make the difference between managing conflict effectively and having conflict end in violence.
- Be aware of triggers, which are any verbal or nonverbal behaviors that result in anger or other negative emotional reactions that can get in the way of resolving conflicts.
- Triggers are like lightning bolts. When they strike, they can interfere with communication.
- To avoid pulling others’ triggers, pay particular attention to your own behavior, even your body language.
- Note that people already use strategies to control their anger (for example, walking away from a dangerous situation), and that all they need to do is build on that foundation.
- Point out that, even though we sometimes think of ourselves as being “out of control,” we often choose to blow up at some times and stay calm at other times. For example, there’s a difference between how we handle anger with our friends and anger with a parent or grandparent. To resolve conflict, you must stay calm to communicate.
- The less “hot” the anger, the more you can control it.
- Even though your anger may be legitimate, it usually doesn’t help to show your anger to the other person. Sometimes the other person will take you more seriously if you remain calm and courteous.
- Remember that your goal is to be able to get angry without becoming abusive or violent, and to communicate your wants and needs effectively without threatening others.
This information is from the National Crime Prevention Council. For more information on this topic, visit their website at http://www.ncpc.org/topics/conflict-resolution.