Resolving Conflict

UNDERSTAND

Whenever people have views, values or approaches to problems that differ, the opportunity for conflict exists. Most people can resolve or put their disagreements aside and move on.  Sometimes, especially if a person feels a loss of respect or perceives another's actions as threatening, conflict can escalate.

Signs of Unresolved Conflict

  • People who harbor grudges against one another.
  • Name calling.
  • Arguments that are disruptive and that don't lead to resolution or agreement.
  • People who talk about a person behind his/her back.
  • Finding yourself anxious about the situation you will face when you encounter an individual.
  • Being fearful about another person's behavior.
  • People going out of their way to avoid each other.

ACT

Assess your Situation

While conflict can be "one-sided", as when a bully decides to pick on a person who is perceived as weak, responsibility for conflict is often shared.  Resolving conflict typically requires the participation of all of the parties who are involved. Think about what you can or might be willing to do to improve your situation.  If you are concerned about the behavior of another person, think about what changes might make the situation better from your perspective.

Recognize that no matter how legitimate you feel your concerns are, others are may see the situation differently. Resolving conflict can depend on the parties being willing to acknowledge and accept these differences in perspective without establishing "who's right" and "who's wrong".

Be prepared to describe what would make the situation better from your perspective. Recognize that some goals like "having the other person fired" or "being assigned to a new job in another organization" may not be realistic.

Get Help

If you don't feel able to resolve the situation yourself, consider getting help from one or more of the following resources.

  • Health and Wellness is committed to holistic development and support of students and provides a variety of services to help students get the most out of their college experience. By providing consultation, assessment, and intervention services, Health and Wellness can assist students in times of need through direct service and/or referral. 206-543-2684 or livewell@u.washington.edu.
  • Talk to the University's Ombudsman
  • Consider the services of the UW School of Law's Mediation Clinic.
  • Consider contacting the UW Counseling Center.
  • Call the Violence Prevention and Response Team at 206-685-SAFE (206-685-7233) if you are concerned that the situation has the potential for becoming violent.
  •  Call 911 if you have been threatened with violent behavior.

EXPLORE

Anger Management & Abuser Help Resources

If you have difficulty managing your anger and behavior toward others, consider contacting one of the following resources for assistance.

The Counseling Center: 206-543-1240
Students can receive assistance with study skills, career decisions, and a wide range of personal problems such as relationship difficulties, anxiety, or depression. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Hall Health Mental Health Clinic: 206-543-5030
Hall Health Mental Health Clinic Provides mental health services to students, faculty and staff, including assessments; individual, couple, family and group therapy; medication evaluation and management; and referrals when appropriate to other campus or community resources.

ALWAYS CALL 911

If you or others may be in danger

REPORT THREATS

206-685-SAFE (7233)
For advice and resources

DON'T WALK ALONE

206-685-WALK (9255)
UW safety guards
to walk with you