Clean your room! It’s my room; why do you care? Conflict. That’s dumb! You’re dumb! Conflict. Hey, wanna come over my house and party? I’d like to but can’t because…! Conflict.
“Conflict” happens every day. We have disagreements with family and friends and teachers. I want to play tag football with my friends but have a paper due tomorrow. I need the newest Iphone, but my parents won’t pay for it. I don’t have a driver’s license and no one will take me to the store.
We start arguments because we’re angry or hurt or confused. I want to be part of the in-group, but don’t want to smoke marijuana or go to a pill party. I don’t know how to get out of it, so I go and am mad at myself for trying weed. I just bought a new great-looking sweater that my friend says makes me look fat. I’m hurt and say something nasty to her.
We experience self-conflict when something makes us happy and unhappy at the same time. For instance, I’m saving money for a car, but spent a lot on an expensive pair of shoes.
Conflict is not going away. It hurts and it’s hard. I even admit it would help to learn conflict resolution skills so I can stop conflict before it gets out of hand and someone is hurt.
School sometimes teach conflict resolution skills. If not, it might be a good idea to ask a favorite teacher or our parents to help. Or it might be a good idea to talk to friends about conflicts and, together, try to think of the best way to peacefully solve issues before they happen. As we practice different ways to resolve conflict, our skills will improve and we will be able to recognize conflicts and how to avoid or solve them.