Despite our best efforts to get through each day with minimal hassle, conflict is an ever present entity that manifests itself in many forms. Whether it’s traffic, forgetting to put the toilet seat down for your significant other, or a coworker that’s unhappy with his own life so he takes it out on you, conflict will always be in a gentleman’s life. How he chooses to deal with it, however, is his own decision. Here’s what I recommend:
1. Always keep a cool head in the situation. Letting emotions take control is not what a gentleman does. Emotions cloud judgment and inhibit rational thinking patterns.
2. Remove yourself from the situation. While it seems easy to simply address the problem then and there, it will be hastily addressed, further complicating matters. If need be, find a facilitator that can act as a mediator between you and the other person.
3. Listen to what the other person is saying. Too often in our culture we find ourselves simply waiting for our turn to speak. If you sincerely pay attention to the concerns one is expressing, you may realize something about the situation that you hadn’t before, as well as why this altercation arose.
4. When it is time to speak, do so without ad hominem attacks (insulting one’s character). That does nothing but make matters worse, and makes you appear childish.
5. Offer a sincere apology if you are the offending party. If not, accept the apology of the offending party. The key goal of any conflict resolution is to deal with the problem swiftly, and in a way that both parties can coexist peacefully once a resolution has been reached. It does you no good to hold grudges against another person, nor does it benefit them.
Conflict will always be present in your life. Use of these techniques should make it more manageable.