No plan will magically solve every problem or situation, but here are some ideas that have worked like a charm for other people.
Take a moment.
Stepping back from the whole mess gives everyone a chance to cool down and think. When you're having a problem with someone, first take some time to understand your own thoughts and feelings. What's really the issue? For example, do you feel like you're not getting enough respect? What do you want? Why?
Next, find a time to work out the problem with the other person. Pick a quiet place where it's easy to talk. Make sure to give yourself enough time. (Out by the school buses 15 minutes before soccer practice probably isn't a good choice!)
Set the tone.
The "tone" is the mood of the talk. When you wake up in a bad mood, it can spoil the whole day, right? You want to make sure that your talk at least starts off with a good mood. Just saying "Let's work this out" can make a huge difference!
Agree on the problem.
Take turns telling your sides of the story. You can't solve a problem if you don't really understand everything that's going on.
When it's your turn, see how calm you can be. Speak softly, slowly, and firmly. No threats (like "If you don't shut up, I'll...), because they can raise the problem to a whole new level-a bad one. No need to get all excited or mad!
Try giving your point of view this way: "I feel ____(angry, sad, or upset) when you____ (take my stuff without permission, call me a name, or leave me out) because___ (you should ask first, it hurts my feelings, or makes me feel lonely)." This really works to get people to listen, because they don't feel like you're judging them. Check out the difference. You could say "You're always late to pick me up!" or "I feel embarrassed when you pick me up late because all of my friends leave right on time and it seems like no one remembered me." You can also try just stating the facts. Instead of saying "You're a thief!" try "Maybe you picked up my shirt by mistake."
When it's the other person's turn, let them explain. Listen. Don't interrupt. Try to understand where they're coming from. Show that you hear them. When people aren't getting along, each person is part of the problem but most of us tend to blame the other person. When you've done something wrong, be ready to say you're sorry.
The goal is to decide together what the real issues are. Do not pass "Go" until you do that. It's huge!
Think of solutions.
Take turns coming up with ways to solve the problem. Get creative. Usually, there are lots possible solutions. Next, talk about the good and bad points of each one.
Make a deal.
Then, choose a solution that you both can agree on. Pick an idea that you both think will work. Get into the specifics talk about exactly who will do what and when you'll do it. Everyone should give something.
Stick like glue.
Keep your word and stick to what you agreed to. Give your compromise a chance. See if it sent your problem up in smoke or if the fires are still burning.
Know when to get help.
Sometimes a problem gets really serious. If you aren't talking and you don't trust each other, you might need another person to step in. If it looks like the problem might turn into a fight, it's definitely time to get help. Someone like a teacher, parent, or religious advisor can help calm things down so you can safely talk out the problem with the other person.
There's no formula for getting along with other people, but following these tips can help. See for yourself!
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