Exchange View: Conflict Resolution, When You Don’t See Eye to Eye with Your Peers

Exchange view, Features

Vol. 26, Issue 24, 19 April 2024

Everyone has their unique habits, values, and needs, and where people are gathered, the chances of conflict are high. Because everyone has their own expectations and way of doing things, it is so easy to misunderstand each other and, worse, slip into a conflict. Left unaddressed, small conflicts can turn into disputes, bullying, and regrettable decisions. This article will highlight a few conditional ways to resolve conflict because as I’m sure you know, sweeping it under the rug will only make it escalate.  

There needs to be common ground when sharing a space, whether a classroom or apartment with people you are not quite accustomed to. You can always be stubborn about doing things your way but that will only lead to your head-butting with your peers. Remember your co-living etiquette and be kind and empathetic to your peers because they could be dealing with personal situations or having a bad day as well.

When conflict arises and you decide to hash it out by having ‘the talk’, keep in mind your tone. Be respectful of the other people involved as well as their viewpoints and perspectives. Sit down together in a safe and neutral environment, grab a tea or coffee, play some relaxed Lofi in the background, and talk. Try to avoid being confrontational and do not be aggressive, aggression will only make the matter escalate making the situation even worse. Instead, focus on communicating your concerns and needs effectively with a mature approach.

Very important to remember is to listen actively to the other person and respond thoughtfully and respectfully. If you are sure, you are unable to keep calm and attentive in this situation, ask for help. Find a common friend, neighbor, or professor who is not directly involved in the conflict and who will act as the mediator. Be mindful of the person you choose; they should not take sides and should have a listening ear for both sides in order to give you fair feedback and help devise a solution.

Talk it out before you fight it out! Feeling frustrated with your peer or roommate is a quintessential part of sharing a space with others. However, remember that you are an adult, and you cannot give in to petty impulses. Instead of raising your voice and fists, talk it out with them. Don’t shout, don’t argue, just have a mature conversation about the problems at hand calmly and rationally. If you know you do not do well in confrontational conversations, if you feel anxious or know you can’t remain calm, there are other ways to go about it. Send them a friendly message about what’s been on your mind or write a note to them. Either way, remain civil in your approach.

Remember what you put out to the world is a boomerang, relationships and respect are a two-way street, if you want to be treated a certain way, give that same treatment to others.  When you feel your temperature rising, remember to breathe, reflect, and be mindful of the golden rule, “do unto others as you’d like others to do unto you.”