Communication and Conflict

People communicate differently. Some people communicate by being quiet, others are loud and direct. How we communicate is influenced by our culture, families, religions, and personalities. In traditional Tlingit culture, people don’t make eye contact often because it’s considered a form of challenge and so might seem disrespectful. Western culture teaches us to look someone directly in the eyes as a form of respect. Do you see how these are two different styles of communication?

Communication during conflict can be tricky. How do you let someone know how you are feeling without getting into a fight? You have to be very careful with your words, or someone might get hurt. First use BOFT– breathe, observe, feel, talk- to make sure you don’t speak out of anger. Then try using “I” statements rather than “you” statements. Watch this video to understand the difference!

Have you ever used “I” statements to communicate your feelings and needs? How did it go? Let us know in the comments!

We will discuss this lesson on our Zoom call Wednesday, April 21st at 2:00 PM.

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