Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Nuts And Bolts of Interpersonal Conflict


Personalities are like colors: a few primary colors mix and turn into bazillion colors. Color mixing is beautiful. So is a variety of personalities. However, there were times when I met people with 'colors' that simply did not match.

One of the worst combination of colors is a Nerd and a Bold. Nerds are those who you normally find spending their time hanging around with textbooks. On the other hand, there are those I call Bolds who are choleric, courageous and confident. I met a Nerd and a Bold when I was in the tenth grade. Both of them were my classmates.

One day, there was an announcement that we did not have to go to school the next day.

“Yeay! No school tomorrow!” was the first reaction that echoed in the class. It was Joe, one of my classmates. He was a sociable guy and a leader at heart. He was also really good at debate since he was rather headstrong and could easily express his thoughts.

Daniel, who was sitting in front of him at that time, was quite the contrary. He was reserved and unique in a sense that he faced his life in a very serious manner. He obeyed the rules and teachers very much. He even did his best to please the teachers. When he heard his classmate's euphoric reaction to the announcement, he was upset. He turned to Joe and slapped him.

“You should not be happy because of holiday!”




Joe replied fiercely, ”Gosh! You know what, Daniel? I bet you will not be a successful person in the future! High IQ and passing tests with flying colors won't compensate for your lack of EQ. You don't have what it takes to be a leader.”

I could observe Daniel was quite shocked by the response. He frowned and turned away. Joe, on the other side, was relieved after expressing his opinion and took a deep breath.
The two have never got along with each other ever since. At almost every opportunity, one would confront another and begin heated discussions.

If you were one of them, what would you do to solve this conflict?

Edited 12/9/2012 : Thanks to Dhanya and Serene! :)

17 comments:

Tasha said...

Hi Teresa,

I like how you portray personalities as colours. It is an apt description. I am surprised that Daniel was so upset about how your class reacted that he slapped your friend. I think that it was unnecessary and uncalled for. Daniel could have just told Joe his view, to get his message across.

Since these arguments keep repeating, I feel that the root of all these arguments is this incident that you mentioned that happened a long time ago. It seems like ever since then, they are unable to see eye-to-eye.
If I were either one of them, I would try to get the other person (with a mutual friend as a mediator) to sit down and talk about this incident. It is important for each of them to say their peace and clarify what their intentions were so as to clear the air and avoid misunderstandings. As a third party, I would think that it is highly likely that Daniel did not mean to hit Joe, but only meant to get Joe’s attention. While for Joe’s case, he would have been quite shocked and angry at Daniel, so he might have said those mean things to Daniel with the intention to hurt his feelings, without actually meaning what he said.

It is important for all of us to resolve these type of misunderstandings immediately because it has the power to destroy friendships, as well as relationships. It is not worth losing friends over such trivial things. We, like Joe and Daniel, should be mindful in phrasing our words in such a way that our message comes across to the recipient accurately in its entirety. I hope your friends, Joe and Daniel, will get over it soon and rekindle their friendship.

Teresa Widodo said...

Hi Tasha,

I was also really surprised by Daniel's reaction since he was rather quiet. Thank you for your suggestions! I have tried to talk several times to Joe (I am not really close with D) and suggested him to reconcile with Daniel but he was reluctant to do so. Besides, they are no longer in the same school. If only they were still my classmates, I would try to get them to sit down and talk. Thanks, once again! :)

Serene Chua said...

Hi Teresa!

I have to agree with Tasha; it is really interesting how you used colors to describe personalities!

Daniel appears to have an issue with Joe. It was a serious outburst for Daniel to have slapped Joe. I feel that he might already have a dislike for Joe even before this happened. Perhaps Joe might have done something to irritate Daniel without realizing it (Since Daniel seems to be really quiet).

Therefore, one solution may be to bring the two of them together. I feel that face to face communications is always an effective way to clear any misunderstandings. Hope this helps!

1) However, there are times when I met people with 'colors' that simply did not match --> However, there were (Or should it be "haven been?) times when I met people........
2) In almost every opportunity, one would confront another and begin heated discussions --> At almost every opportunity, one would confront another and begin heated discussions.

Dhanya said...

Hi Teresa,

I love how you portray personalities as colours. A very poetic beginning! Your vocabulary is really impressive as well! :)

It is sad when different personalities find least compatibility. In a situation like this one has to try and understand where the other person is coming from. If I was one of your two classmates I would have been either very angry/humiliated at what happened. Joe said very harsh things even though he was voicing his opinion. It helps to think before we act. Both of them displayed a lack of that learning.

However a sensible and matured way to go on from there would be to think of why exactly the other person did what they did. Talking to them or their friends might have helped!

I noticed some places that I feel could have been written differently:
1) However, there are times when I met people with 'colors' that simply did not match. --> However, there were times when I met people with 'colors' that simply did not match.

2) He obeyed the rules and teachers very much and did his best to please the teachers. --> He obeyed rules and teachers very much. He even did his best to please the teachers!

Hope it helped! :)

Teresa Widodo said...

Hi Serene!

I never thought of the possibility of previous conflicts but that makes perfect sense! Thank you for your suggestions and corrections. I appreciate them. :)

Guillaume Ubaldi said...

Bonjour Teresa,

Your post is perfectly detailed and move in a logical direction. I did like the picture you posted to illustrate the situation :) in case we forget about what is a sweet slap !

If I were Joe - because I can't imagine myself in the Daniel's shoes - I would try to fix the problem by clearing the air. It starts with : "Hey Daniel. I apologize for what I've said last time. It was inappropriate..."
But it sounds like this kind of anger had been boiling in his mind till this conflict. So it could be harder to apologize.

Apart from the grammatical problems mentioned by Serene, I thought your post grammatically good. Tense are well sequenced. The only problem, to me, is that you don't really talk about an interpersonal conflict between you and another person.

Thank you for this post.

Cheers

Teresa Widodo said...

Hi Dhanya!

Thank you. I always find various personalities are the spice of life, just like colors!:)

I think it is a brilliant idea to find the root of their actions. And thanks for your suggestions and corrections! I really appreciate them.

Teresa Widodo said...

Hi Guillaume!

Oh, I love the way you described the illustration... "Sweet Slap". Haha.

I think that's a great idea. Maybe one of them should calm down a bit and apologize afterwards.

As for the interpersonal conflict, I couldn't think of any conflicts between me and others at the time of writing. So I decided to write this one since the blogging directions didn't push us to write about an interpersonal conflict involving ourselves.

Thanks a lot for your response! :)

Maxime Fugel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maxime Fugel said...

Hi Teresa =)

The first thing that I want to say is that I like your post! It is really good written, really clear and concise. Moreover, your picture is the best example of your last post title: " A picture is worth than thousand words"

I have the same opinion than Guillaume. Indeed in France, i have never seen one student who was sad because the teacher was absent (unless something wrong happens to the teacher, of course). Nevertheless, I think that the reaction depends on the cultures and on the persons. That is why if I were Joe, I would say "I am really sorry about my behavior, I understand easily your reaction. »

Nevertheless, if everyone slapped me just for one sentence like that, I would say that it is OK for this time but now he has to control his nerves. Self control is really important especially for becoming a leader.That is why I can understand why Joe said that Daniel has a lack of EQ. Consequently, I would say that "I am sorry about the fact I said you have a lack of EQ but you should control you for becoming a better person. You can say me, sorry there is a problem, I don't agree with you"

Fighting is bad, communication is better.

Brad Blackstone said...

Thanks, Teresa, for this lively depiction of an interpersonal conflict. It's clear, concise, fluent and entertaining --- and look at all the feedback you've gotten. A job well done!

Bongjin Kim said...

Hi, Teresa ! As Tasha told before, I really like your poetic expression; ‘Personalities are like colours.’ I think that Daniel caused the problem because Joe just expressed his happiness and Daniel started to fight. Daniel had to keep his temper even though his thought could be right.

In my case, when my friends make me angry, I always try to control my mind. I think that fighting with friends is the most foolish act and a person who started the fight should be responsible for his/her fault. If I were Joe, Daniel would be …

Even though you cannot understand how I feel, the only way to compensate the act Daniel presented, he must ask Joe for his forgiveness.

Maple Lai said...

Hi Teresa! I love your expression and the relation of personalities to colours. It drew me into reading on for your post. And I really do like the way you write, very clear and straight to point.

I believe in this case Daniel was at fault for using brute force just because Joe expressed his happiness. As for Joe's response, it was definitely very straight forward and I would say hurtful to an extent.

I think it would be best that both of them ask for each other's forgiveness because it is really not worth it to lose a friendship over an issue that is blew up like this.

Anyhow, great post! Looking forward to your next one!
Cheers!

Teresa Widodo said...

Hi Maxime!

Thank you for your response! :)Sure, I think the best way to rekindle their friendship is by talking face-to-face and Daniel surely needs to improve his EQ.

And, well, honestly, Daniel is the only person I know who feels sad because of holiday! That's why I think this conflict is kind of interesting.

Teresa Widodo said...

Thank you very much for your positive feedback, Brad! :) And thumbs up for tutorial group 3!

Teresa Widodo said...

Hi Bongjin!

Thank you for your response. I am so glad that you guys like the way I depict personalities as colors.

As for the solution, I agree with you. Fighting with others shows the lack of self-control. Quoting Maxime's comment,"fighting is bad, communication is better". Daniel should apologize.

Teresa Widodo said...

Hi Maple!

Thanks a lot for your response! Indeed. Daniel was the one who started the fight. Joe's response cannot be considered as right either since it must hurt Daniel's feeling. He could have criticize Daniel more politely.

Thank you for the positive feedback! Looking forward to yours as well! :D

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