Educators at the U of M Extension Service discourage fistfights when disagreements arise. Instead, they advise, calmly talking over the problem and not holding grudges.
Avoiding battle scars
From eNews, September 30, 2004
Conflicts are inevitable in life, but according to educators at the University of Minnesota Extension Service, disagreements can be resolved or even avoided if you practice patience, and sometimes are willing to give in. Here are 10 tips for handling conflicts:
- Don't fight to win--there are no winners when you do. Be willing to negotiate or give in when necessary.
- Listen carefully to what the other person has to say.
- Make sure you understand what the problem is.
- Take care of a problem as soon as it comes up--and before it becomes too big to handle.
- Talk about only one conflict at a time; avoid bringing up old problems.
- Don't blame others for problems you're having with someone else.
- Think before you speak. Phrase your thoughts in a constructive way so that what you say helps rather than hurts.
- Never strike another person to get your way. Physical violence or abuse such as hitting, punching, kicking, or slapping is never acceptable.
- Try writing down your feelings. If the person you're having the conflict with won't discuss the problem or if you're not comfortable talking about it, write a letter. You can always decide later whether or not to give it to the person.
- When the fight is over, drop it. Forgive and forget, even if the dispute wasn't resolved the way you wanted.
To learn more about the U of M Extension Service, see www.extension.umn.edu.