Julia Guidi

Equinox Staff

Children are exposed to conflict at a relatively early age. Whether it is Superman fighting crime on TV, or their actual friends having a disagreement,s it is the way children learn to deal with conflict that can greatly affect the rest of their lives.

It is a common idea — children are always being told to use their words. When they point to things they want, their mothers will say, “Honey! Use your words.” However, the opposite thing is often portrayed in society. Fighting is evident in everyday life. Television shows often display physical fights. Video games are filled with violence. Children are expected not to use this type of behavior, but it can be confusing when they are constantly surrounded by it.

Despite this, it is obvious that the best way to solve a problem is not through physical fighting. Being physical doesn’t really solve any problems. It can often escalate the problem and make it worse. When someone is about to fight, the anticipation can cause them to become more nervous and this, in turn, creates another problem. Obviously, when two people physically fight, they both have the potential to become seriously injured. At the end of the fight, now two problems exist. The injuries, which are the aftermath of the fight. And the problem that caused the fight in the first place still hasn’t been solved, but definitely escalated. There are now just more problems to potentially work through.

When it comes to finding a solution to a problem, talking it out is the most productive method. Often, problems are not as big as they seem. Problems can often stem from small misunderstandings. The best way to figure this out is to simply have a conversation with the other person involved. As mad as someone might be, it is important to hear both sides of an issue in order to find a solution — important points can be brought to light. This way, it can be easier to understand where the other person may be coming from.

This skill is especially important for college students. No matter what career path one chooses, mediation and communication skills are essential. This is what talking through problems can teach people. By doing this, students are taught empathy and learn to better understand how humans work. This is helpful in the fields of medicine, journalism, music, theatre, education and many others. If college students can keep conversing as much as they can, it will better prepare them for their futures.

The common thread among every career is communicating. Whether it be communicating with clients, students, co-workers, bosses or even animals, it exists in virtually every aspect of life. Communicating with peers about potential problems prepares students for the prevalence of communication.

It is clear that physically fighting cannot provide the same kind of benefits and it certainly does not provide a way to get to a clear solution. On the other hand, talking out problems is a better way to get to a solution and also teaches valuable communication skills. Put down your fists and start speaking up.

Julia Guidi can be contacted at jguidi@kscequinox.com