How to Deal with Conflict
Kellie M. Howard & Noemi Reyes
Best Buddies YLC
Starting with communication
Best Buddies is known for inclusion, respect for others, and friendship. When it comes to everyday events, sometimes conflicts may arise. This is normal. It happens within families, among close friends and large groups. When there is a whirl of different personalities, people may voice different opinions. It is not so important that conflicts arise, but the ways in which we handle them.
“If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.”
Communication is considered a key to success. When members within the chapter disagree, including officers and buddy pairs, the issue must be dealt with civility. Because Best Buddies promotes respect and inclusion, the best way to deal with these issues is to follow this principle. A calm, face-to-face, and cordial approach to an issue is the best course of action. Too often, we are immersed in “he said, she said” issues. However, by simply going to the person and bringing up the concern in a respectful manner, further problems can be avoided. This does not mean confront someone by bringing up the issue in front of others because it is not helpful. By being kind to one another and listening to what each person has to say, members can get along. If this is not possible, then we must agree to disagree. When disagreeing with someone, it’s important to be respectful.
Sometimes, it may be difficult to avoid disagreements about others’ choices. A good rule for social interaction is to avoid bringing up sensitive topics such as religion or politics. It’s all about respect. This includes recognizing people for their abilities instead of their “disabilities.” People are strong in different ways and if we learn to be open-minded and accepting, one day we will see a world where inclusion is the norm, not a second thought.
So remember, the next time you find yourself in a disagreement, take the time to reflect on how others would feel, if you disregarded their opinion. It only takes a moment to think about others before yourself. As the renowned Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”