Guest Author - Celestine A. Jones
School violence is on the rise. Unsuspecting students, faculty and staff report to school with hopes of having a good day. Instead they are sometimes met with the intent to injure or even kill by unhappy people. It can be prevented by teaching others how to manage difficult feelings.
Violence is the end result of the inability to control feelings. Angry feelings or thoughts can result in negative outcomes if emotions are not managed appropriately and timely. In some cultures, it is uncommon to discuss feelings with others. This pattern has been passed down from generation to generation. As a society, it would be a good idea to open up about our feelings.
Before any situation gets to the point of violence, itís often begins with conflict of some kind. Most young people think of conflict as a fight. They are correct. Conflict can also be something simple as a difference of opinion. Violence can be preventing by de-escalating the situation while it is small. It is very difficult to manage conflict when it gets to the crisis stage. Conflict resolution can be used to avoid violence.
If you have ever tried to rationalize with an angry person, you know that it gets harder to manage the situation as emotions increase. When dealing with an irate person, it is important to appear in a non-threatening way. Be sure to watch body language. Clinched fists indicate that you want to fight. Speak in a calm voice while using cooperative words. This is an attempt to get the other person to calm down somewhat by lowering his or her voice as well. This is voice matching. Say the name of the person if it is known. When relating your opinion, it is important to say we or our in order to show that you are not trying to dominate the situation. Listen to the point of view of the other person. We live in a diverse society. We have so many different opinions and ideas. It is important to listen with an open mind.
Conflict often gets out of hand when one person tells the other what to do. Listening without forcing your ideas on the other person or blaming him for problems can de-escalate the situation. The main objective should be to solve a problem or situation. Brainstorming together will allow each party to give his opinion without resulting in violence.
All situations cannot be resolved through conflict management. If the situation continues to get out of hand, it may be best to leave the situation or seeking assistance from an adult, teacher, security, or police officer. Always attempt to leave the situation if weapons are present.
Simple techniques can be used to dissolve conflict before the situation gets out of hand. Always keep in mind that violence can result in injury or even death. With the right training and coaching, we can live in a society filled with love and peace.