I’ve never been a big fan of confrontation.

 

Honestly, my first instinct is to passive aggression. I’ll make a “joke” or simply avoid the issue. Not exactly the best way to resolve anything, ya know?

 

I’ve gotten a bit better as I’ve gotten older. I recently had the revelation that I would be much better at high school now. I know how to handle mean girls. I’ve learned how tenuous the line between a bully and a coward truly is, and how easy it is to send a bully running for the hills.

 

The main thing I’ve learned is to nip things in the bud. The moment you let tension sit, it starts to fester, and what could have been a simply cleared up misunderstanding turns into a full-on feud.

 

I’m pretty sure all of Romeo & Juliet could have been solved in one long chat over some wine had there been someone around to start a dialogue.

 

Other than that, stay calm, hear everyone out, and know when it’s time to move on. The fact is, you’re only in control of your own response — sometimes people prefer living in conflict. That doesn’t mean you have to join them.

 

So does my new understanding mean when something stressful or problematic arises, I dive head-first into the fray to solve the problem?

 

Well…not quite. But it is getting a bit easier to talk myself into taking a stand, especially when it comes to sticking up for myself or those I love. (Even if my hands are quietly shaking in my lap while I do.)

 

So spill: What’s your best conflict resolution tactic?

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