Fri | Jun 5, 2020

Conflict Resolution Corner | Respond not react

Published:Wednesday | March 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Staff and students at the Dispute Resolution Foundation Centre in Clarendon play the 'Human Knot' game.

Welcome to the second instalment of a new feature, the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF) School Intervention Programme (SIP) a Conflict Resolution Corner. This will run over six weeks as we provide tips on dealing with conflict, particularly among children.

To start working on resolving disputes, the first core value is affirmation.

Affirmations are positive statements made by individuals repeatedly until they are impressed in their subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind accepts as true what you keep saying, therefore, it is very important to pay attention to the words you repeat in your mind.

Negative statements such as "I can't do it, I am going to fail, I am too lazy and I am too afraid" will only bring negative results.

Also, statements such as "she is ugly, she is dunce, she is worthless, she is stupid and he is a fool" will also bring negative results.

In order to get positive results then, the statements that are imprinted in your mind must be positive. Statements such as "I can do this, I will achieve my goals, I am proud of myself, I am beautiful or handsome, I am creative and I will do my best," and statement such as "he or she is intelligent, he or she will succeed and he or she is courageous" are positive statements.


How does affirmation assist in resolving conflicts?


Affirmation helps us to see things differently and gives us the courage to respond instead of reacting. When we respond, we calmly evaluate the situation and then make a decision to do what's best for us. It allows us to be in control of our emotions and actions. Reacting, on the other hand, keeps us doing exactly what the other person wants us to do.

For example, someone calls you stupid, ugly or fool. Instead of getting angry and cursing the person, which may result in a fight and broken relationship, affirmation will allow you to calmly evaluate the situation, reject or ignore these negative statements and give yourself some positive self-talk such as "I am intelligent, I am handsome or beautiful, so there is no need for me to react to this or any negative statement. I will hold my head high and act like the intelligent, beautiful person I know I am."

As students, you will encounter others who don't see things as you do. There will be disagreements, there will be opposition, but if you affirm yourself and others daily, you will be able to respond to negative situations in a positive way.

"I will act now. I will repeat these words again and again and again. I will walk where failures fear to walk. I will work when failures seek rest. I will act now for now is all I have. I will act now. Success will not wait. If I delay, success will become wed to another and lost to me forever. This is the time. This is the place. I am the person."

- Og Mandino

- Sandria Watkis-Madden is a youth peace facilitator/mediator based at the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF), head of the DRF School Intervention Programme in Clarendon. Feedback: or, or,