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Agreeing to Disagree

July 14, 2011

Disagreements can challenge us to remain respectful of one another. It's very important to maintain your own dignity and your sense of respect for your fellow residents when you have a difference of opinion.

Don't wait for differences to occur, have a plan in place for how to handle them from the start. Perhaps a group of mediators who can intervene, or a cool-down period (like a time-out) if things get heated, anything to help you regain your composure and think about what's really going on.

Sometimes it can be hard to detect an internal disagreement. You might just feel confused or anxious, indecisive about something. You could also go so far as to have a panic attack. That's one reason why having a mediation plan can be good. The person who is Front is not the best person to detect an internal conflict. By having 3 or more good citizens with fairly level heads acting as internal mediators, you can interrupt disruptive behaviors or arguments before they escalate into a headache.

Disagreements can range from what flavor of ice cream to buy through to more important life decisions such as what to major in for college, who to date or marry, where to live, and so on. When big life decisions are being made, hold a real meeting on the matter in question and allow all sides to present their pro/con lists for the choices involved.

So please hold a meeting and discuss a plan of action for how to handle disagreements. Pick out at least 3 mediators and ask them to keep an eye on internal communication and to intervene if there's a disagreement, and help the parties involved come up with a win-win situation if at all possible.

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