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Fundamental principles for resolving a conflict

Here are some fundamental principles to give yourself the best possible chance of resolving a quarrel or misunderstanding between 2 people.

  • Don’t feed your frustration. By brooding over the situation, you’ll just feed your anger. Then when it’s time to talk, you risk saying things that you’ll regret later.
  • Choose the right time to raise the topic. Make sure you have enough time to talk and choose a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. If you’re not comfortable talking, you can write too – that’s often easier.
  • Each of you has some work to do. When you have a conflict, don’t forget that both of you need to look for solutions. Do you both have room to express yourselves and be heard?
  • Reconsider your attitudes and behaviours. It’s not always the other person’s fault! Admitting your own faults right away will often make the other person more willing to listen with an open mind.
  • Respect the other person’s different opinions. The important thing isn’t to agree about everything, it’s to make sure that both of you feel respected and are able to express yourselves.
  • Remain open-minded during the discussion and don’t hesitate to refer to the rules of good communication.
  • If the conflict is tainted with violence or seems like bullying, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Your teachers, parents, or Tel-jeunes can help you.
  • Prove that you’re trustworthy by respecting your commitments and honouring your word and… be patient! Sometimes, we can’t find an answer right away. In that case, the best thing is to wait, let things settle down, think things over, and try to find new solutions.