Assertive Conflict Resolution

Dr. Theron Parsons IV visited us here at Melcher Hall this evening and talked to a group of us about how to resolve conflicts in an assertive manner.  We talked about roommate conflicts, friend arguments, road rage, and relationship/domestic violence.  All of these situations are very serious, and we talked about some ways to approach these when they happen to ourselves or others.

One thing Dr. Parsons said was to avoid being passive or aggressive in any way when dealing with situations.  He says conflicts are all about power; acting passively gives too much power to the other person and being aggressive makes you take all the power to yourself.  Instead, be willing to share the power through asking questions.  Dr. Parsons says that asking questions to people you’re in a conflict with usually moves the conversation along in a more effective manner.

One thing that definitely surprised me is that Dr. Parsons says that acting passively can be just as dangerous as acting aggressively.  In the short term, being passive may be fine, but it can build and become dangerous as a person becomes more and more likely to “snap”.

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