Conflict Ignored Is Never Resolved

Conflict Ignored Is Never Resolved

By Jessiah Lucien

Conflict is like an earthquake. It’s shocking and it comes abruptly, shaking up the lives of everyone in its wake. It’s fearsome and we try to avoid it at all cost, but despite that we still find it taking up parts of our lives. We can either run from it or face it head on and our choice in the matter certainly will dictate the effect it will have in our lives.

Jessiah is an intern through the organization Futures and Options.

Before I got to New York Peace Institute, I hated conflict. I was the type to run away from it. My theory was the further away it was from me, the less I had to deal with it and thus it would eventually go away. If I had an issue with my mom, I would stop talking to her and go about my regular routines, letting the tension hopefully wash away.

If something happened with one of my friends I would just sidetrack the issue and just let ‘bygones be bygones’. Never once did I consider the benefits of sitting down and conversing with these people to get to the root of the issue. Because a conflict ignored is never resolved. It will continue to fester until it explodes or grudges are created that will last a lifetime. This immature mentality has ruined more than a few of the good relationships that I’ve had, and in retrospect, I realize that it was my fearfulness that kept me from solving petty issues and healing broken bonds.

As an intern working on development and special events, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the impact New York Peace Institute has on people’s lives and the ways they help clients resolve their conflicts. I began to experience the wholesomeness of conflict resolution. The processes here include unbiased mediators who help create a safe space in which two parties who are having a conflict can express themselves in a more peaceful manner. Seeing this, I thought to myself: this is the kind of thing I need to be practicing. Along with this notion, I learned of a gentler way of handling conflicts through my communication. Instead of being so pushy and overbearing, I began practicing how to be lax and calm spoken in arguments with my family and peers and how to ask questions that were less charged (i.e.: “What’s wrong with you?”) and more thoughtful and concerning to the person on the other end. Overall, I have found that I am no longer afraid when a conflict finds its way into my life. Instead, I accept it fully and attempt to sift through it so that neither me nor the party on the other end walk away feeling hurt or upset.

As an intern working on development and special events, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about the impact New York Peace Institute has on people’s lives and the ways they help clients resolve their conflicts. I began to experience the wholesomeness of conflict resolution. The processes here include unbiased mediators who help create a safe space in which two parties who are having a conflict can express themselves in a more peaceful manner. Seeing this, I thought to myself: this is the kind of thing I need to be practicing. Along with this notion, I learned of a gentler way of handling conflicts through my communication. Instead of being so pushy and overbearing, I began practicing how to be lax and calm spoken in arguments with my family and peers and how to ask questions that were less charged (i.e.: “What’s wrong with you?”) and more thoughtful and concerning to the person on the other end. Overall, I have found that I am no longer afraid when a conflict finds its way into my life. Instead, I accept it fully and attempt to sift through it so that neither me nor the party on the other end walk away feeling hurt or upset.

Jessiah recently graduated from Richard R. Green High School for Teaching and will start as a freshman at the University of Virginia in August 2019.