Conflict Resolution Skills: None

The Stop Fighting Emoji?

I have a friend, Nadia, who does conflict resolution for a living. It’s an actual profession. She gets sent to random villages in developing countries and performs miracles like stop a war between two tribes by getting them to agree on sharing the only clean water well in the region instead of fighting over it. Or decrease corruption in a community by stimulating the local economy to make the officials less of a bribery target for criminals. She utilizes charts and arrows and diagrams and probably emoji, too.

In contrast, I employ this strategy in conflict resolution.

Disapproving Rabbit. Photo credit:

See how grumpy? And disapproving?

Case in point, see below.

Boyfriend: XYZ happened/you did XYZ! Why? Confusion??

Me: Dunno where the confusion is.

Him: [explanation of details]

Me: Okay. Fine.

Him: What does that mean?

Me: It means I understand your point of view.

Him: Meaning?

Me: I have to think about it.

Him: Your reaction?

Me: I’m not sure how to react until I think about it.

Him: Immediate reaction?

Me: This continues to be an issue so maybe I just shouldn’t tell you certain things or react in certain ways.

Him: Huh?

Me: You don’t like it when I say X or when I do Y, so I just won’t.

Him: That doesn’t solve anything.

Me: Yes it does. It takes the trigger out of the equation.

Him: But that’s not resolution. I want to know what you feel about it!

Me: Feel? Or think? Those are two different things.

Him: Either, both! Argh!

Me: Okay. Fine.

Him: Meaning?

Me: Maybe if you don’t like how I do/say/think about certain things, maybe we shouldn’t be together. It’s not like I’m going to change all that much.

Him: Wuhhh? How did we get to there all of a sudden? I just want to talk and then you’re like, maybe we shouldn’t be together.

Me: It’s the easiest solution.

Him: Relationships aren’t suppose to be easy! They take work!!

Me: Why? Why do they have to? Why does there have to be conflict?

Him: Because that’s how people learn about each other, XYZ, points of view, We Are the World, etc.

Me: I don’t like this. I don’t like communicating and talking about feelings!!

Him: I know.

I can be such a pain sometimes. But honestly, I kind of like it that I can be.