I used to hate conflict. Try to avoid it at all costs until I went quiet and just had to leave the room. Sometimes, these urges and old habits come back and I just want to run and hide under a rock. But I think as we grow and learn more and more about ourselves and our values, you don’t want to do this. Instead, you want to stand up for yourself and deal with it in a healthy and productive way. This is something I’m still learning and trying to master, but conflict and awkward moments are just something we all have to deal with. So here are my ways to deal with it effectively and with as little drama as possible like this guy below.
Respect. It’s important to respect the other person you’re talking to. Yes they may have different opinions or perspectives on things but that’s OK. It would be boring if we were all the same. You want your opinion to be respected to it’s vital that you acknowledge their point of view.
Understanding. Along with respect is understanding. You need to understand that everyone comes from a different family, background and way of life. By understanding and trying to put yourself in their shoes, you’ll ensure that you’re not attacking them.
Confidence. Speak with confidence and conviction. If you believe that LGBT people have a right to marriage, then say it loud and proud. If you’re interested in a particular issue, you’ll arleady know a lot of information about it (a recent protest or march, a celebrity that advocates for it, the positive effects it will have on society…).
Educate. If you’ve already done the above things, try and educate the other person about why Viola Davis winning an emmy is such a significant thing. If the other person is respecting you and trying to understand where you’re coming from, they’ll be more than happy to listen and learn from you. As long as it’s reciprocated.
Stick to your beliefs. Of course it’s difficult when someone is questioning and criticising what you believe in. However that doesn’t make it any less valuable. If it’s something you truly believe in and advocate for, then one persons criticism really wan’t effect that.
Walk away. If you’ve covered all of the above, and the person you’re talking with is still attacking your words, questioning and criticising what you’re saying, then just leave that conversation alone. You don’t need to make everyone believe what you believe and think what you think. You’re just trying to share some light on why you’re passionate about feminism or One Direction, you’re not trying to brainwash them. But if the other person isn’t respecting or trying to understand you, then maybe they’re not worth talking to.
Don’t hold grudges. Holding grudges doesn’t get anyone anywhere. There’s no use resenting someone becuase they said they hated French movies that one time. Just accept that everyone is different and will have different opinions on which colour jelly bean is the best.
So remember, it’s totally fine to have heated or intense discussions. They’re stimulating, interesting and allow you to express how passionate or concerned about something you are. These are just some of my little tips to do so in a productive and respectful way.
Do you have any tips of tricks that I’ve missed? Share them in the comments below!