Conflict is part of life. Anger, frustration and disappointment are natural emotions, but there are positive and negative ways to deal with conflicts. Learning how to deal with difficult people and situations now can help you manage problems you’ll face later in life.
Listed below are examples of everyday issues that may set you off, followed by an example of a situation you may face after graduation. We asked Richard Tutunick, a guidance counselor at Rutherford High School in Panama City, for advice in dealing with each situation.
“But that’s not fair!”
Now: You get a lousy grade on an assignment that you worked hard on. You want your teacher to change the grade or give you an extra credit opportunity.
Later: You get a poor evaluation at work that you don’t think was fair.
How to Deal: “It’s important to speak up, but you should do so in a tactful way. Set up an appointment to voice your concerns. Explain the purpose of your request. Try to take responsibility for your grade without putting blame on others or giving excuses. Be appreciative of the opportunityto talk about the issue, no matter what the outcome maybe.”
“Hands off my stuff!”
Now: Your brother keeps using your skateboard when you’re not home. You tell him that you don’t want him to use it without your permission. When you come home from school, you notice that one of the wheels is broken.
Later: You buy groceries for yourself every week. Your roommate keeps eating your food without asking, paying or sharing any of his groceries.
How to Deal: “First, remove yourself from the situation until you are able to calm down. Once calm, you can discuss your concerns more rationally. Take deep breaths or count to 10 to calm down. Remember, the problem is still going to be there whether you’re calm or irate, but it’s easier to think when things are calm.”
“How could you?”
Now: You’ve been best buddies with a group of girls since sixth grade. Now that you’re in high school, things have changed. You feel like you’re no longer in the group anymore. Even worse, you hear that your old friends are now spreading rumors about you.
Later: You’ve been dating someone for a few years and you’re thinking about getting married. But then you find out that your boyfriend or girlfriend has been seeing someone else.
How to Deal: “There are basically two options. First, you can confront the individual or individuals involved. A confrontation shouldn’t be in an aggressive fashion. Meet with the individual alone and simply ask what problem they have with you. Try to resolve any issues, but if you can’t, leave the meeting in a civil way. The other option would be to ignore and avoid the issue. Simply end ties by not associating with these people.”
Anger Management Tips
1. :Ask yourself why you’re really angry. Pick your battles. Ask yourself if this situation is reallyworth getting upset over.
2. Write your feelings in a journal. Consider what you are going to say to the person you plan toconfront. Think before you speak. And listen more than you talk. 3. Communicate why you’re upset and offer a possible resolution. Bringing up old beefs, cursing,yelling or being negative turns off any possible dialogue.
Don’t say this: Do say this:
“You’re wrong …” “I feel …”
“I demand …” “I’d like …”
“We can’t …” “We can …”
“We won’t …” “We should …”
“You should …” “Are you willing to …”
Source: Managing Your Anger by Rebecca Luhn
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit www.ashleycisneros.com. You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.