Saturday, November 2, 2013

Conflict Shmonflict

IMG_4910You're in the middle of a terrible argument, and everyone turns to you to help resolve it. How do you respond? How do you react to conflict?

I am terribly inept at individual conflict resolution. In fact, conflict, in general, makes me kind of squirrelly.  I avoid conflict at almost any cost.  That means I swallow my emotions a lot of the time.  I very rarely ever seek out conflict, and when it seeks me, I hide.  So, if someone were to engage in direct conflict with me on a one-to-one basis, I would probably shut down.

However, when I am in a group situation, I always step up and take a very specific role- I am the peacemaker.  I always have been, and I suspect I always will be.  I usually try to diffuse a situation, encouraging people to take a step back and view the facts in an objective manner.  Arguments get ugly because emotions are used as weapons.  But by replacing emotion with fact, things tend to calm down a bit, opening the doors to discussion, compromise, and resolution.  I actually was put in just such a position recently.  My response was to maintain a cool head, point out factual errors, and to encourage all parties involved to remain calm.

However, I think that I have a different viewpoint of resolution than most.  People assume a fight is resolved when all parties are in agreement, but sometimes, agreement is not possible, or even necessary.  A conflict can be resolved without either party changing their initial opinions, but instead coming to a place of mutual respect and acknowledgement of those differences.

But sometimes, what I really want to do is slap the taste out of someone's mouth.  Too bad that won't accomplish anything.

NaBloPoMo November

Good lord, I hope all these writing prompt responses are not so boring and practical!!!