How to Deal with Conflict

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In our previous article, "Let's Build a Better World." We talked about the importance of maintaining peace around the world. We also talked about the importance of UN sustainability goal 16, which focuses on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies and access to justice for all, and the impact of war and conflict in communities around the world. 

But what happens when the issues are closer to home. Like at school, for example. Sometimes, the UN Sustainability goals can work together to form a whole new set of ideals. This article will discuss how goal 16, peace and justice for all, goal 3, good health and well-being, and goal 12, responsible consumption correlate. 

Are you ready? Let's see all of these in action. 

Have you been in a situation at school where conflict occurred? How did that make you feel? Did you take any actions either during the development of the conflict or later on? Is there anything you could have done differently? 

Goal 12, Target 12.8 focuses on ensuring that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development. Conflict can negatively impact people's sustainable development. For example, when you or someone close to you is a victim of violence or bullying, you can become sad, stressed, and anxious. When stressed and anxious, it becomes harder to focus on your work, school, and fun activities. As a result, your mind is elsewhere, you are worried, and your development (grades and relationships with others) suffers. 

This is why it is important to always talk to someone if you or someone you know is in a situation that requires intervention. Reaching out for help is never a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it shows maturity and emotional intelligence. 

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a set of skills that help us recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions. It also allows us to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. However, no one is born with emotional intelligence; this is a skill we can learn and develop throughout our lives. 

How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Recognize your emotions and name them

What emotions are you feeling right now? Can you name them? When in a stressful situation, what do you typically feel? How would you like to respond in these situations? Can you stop to pause and reconsider your response? Taking a moment to name your feelings and the way to react to the problem is an essential step toward a healthy emotional intelligence. 

Ask for feedback from others. 

Ask your teachers, friends, or family how they rate your emotional intelligence. For example, ask them how you respond to challenging situations, how adaptable or empathetic you are, and/or how well you handle conflict. It may not always be what you want to hear, but it will often be what you need to hear - take the feedback as a motivation to make improvements, not as a critique. 


Read more books 

Studies show that reading literature with complex plots and characters can improve empathy. Reading stories from other people's perspectives helps us gain insight into their thoughts, motivations, and actions and may help enhance our social awareness.

Now that you know what to do to improve and grow your emotional intelligence let's review what you do when you are in a conflict. Always remember to remain self-aware of your feelings and think before you act. 

Five Tips for Conflict Resolution 

Do you have any brothers or sisters? Because if you do, you sure understand conflict can happen any time. It is normal to sometimes disagree with someone. Whether it is about how they do things, what to watch on TV, or what to wear to a party, it is part of human interaction to have different opinions; however, how we react during a disagreement makes the difference. 

So next time you can feel the tension growing, try these five tips to dissipate the argument and responsibly engage in conflict resolution:

  • Focus on the problem, not on the person. You're looking for a solution, not for a culprit.
  • Be kind, and explain to the other person your point of view. 
  • Count to ten before you say something you might regret. Sometimes, we can say mean things we don't really mean in the heat of the moment. 
  • Rather than impose a resolution, look to the participants to come up with one together. 
  • If all fails, remove yourself from the situation. Kindly walk away and avoid further confrontation.

Practicing these soft skills at home can help build better mechanisms to deal with conflict and stress when you grow up. 

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Thinking Cap On

Think of a situation at home or school where you have been in disagreement with a friend, sibling, or parent. Now, what was the dispute about? Can you create a diagram with different solutions to the problem and how you can prevent conflict? Is there a way you can compromise? Next, discuss with your parents or friends and listen to their point of view. Remember, part of finding a resolution relies on listening and being empathetic. Add any ideas they may have, and together, find a solution. 


Be self-aware of your feelings. How are you feeling? Angry, frustrated? Acknowledge it and let others know how the situation is making you feel.

Think before you speak. Don't let your emotions guide your answer. 

Be open-minded to others and their point of view.