Reflectorial: On conflict
“I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand!”
We’re sure that at this time full of group projects, work, clubs and what-have-you, some people are getting on your nerves. Linus was feeling the same way. People can be horribly difficult to deal with. As you’re reading this, you may even have a specific person in mind that makes your blood boil. But in this time of conflict, what are you to do? Realistically, just suck it up.
Yeah, that sounds really bad. But, the fact is that you should try to just carry on and not stoop to their level — it will probably make things worse in the end if you do.
You are not going to agree with everyone. You might not have anything in common with that person and you have to remember that you both may be coming from different places (be that intellectual, cultural, etc.). It’s very possible that you will never be able to fully understand where they are coming from, or will they make the effort to understand you.
But in some cases, this person may be saying or doing things that are way out of line. If that’s the case, you should not sink to their level or attempt to justify their behavior. Remember that people do not like to change their outlooks or worldviews often, so most of the time all the arguing in the world won’t change anything. In fact, it might even heat up an issue and make things worse.
It is also really important to have a confidant, or more than one — your people — that you talk to about the difficult stuff that you are going through. It can help you really understand what the conflict is about and whether you should do something about it. Are things getting way out of hand, or not? It’s also good to just have some support.
Lastly, find the humour in it. Yeah, it sucks but if you think about it, the frustration that you are getting from this whole thing can actually be funny. It’s weird and it’s awkward but try to laugh at what the conflict is bringing out of you — don’t dig into it. Before you know it, you won’t have to interact with this person and they will just be one of your “Remember that time…” stories.
Pick your battles. Just ask yourself: Is it worth getting into a scruff about, or do you want to just vent about it to your best friend later this week?
— The Reflector Staff