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Now that you've read the "Gender and NonVerbal Communication" article, do you agree with the differences shown above? Why or why not? By knowing how people "generally" respond to different types of situations and body language, you can practice possible ways of dealing with people and dealing with conflicts. Think of some of the difficult situations that you have encountered in your own life:  problems with your family, a coworker, your boss, or even a stranger. Did you feel comfortable or skilled in trying to solve the conflict? If you didn't, you may find some of the skills and strategies discussed in this section helpful.

Fight or Flight Response

There are three responses that can be made to a conflict or disruptive situation.

  1. Fight ~ When there is a conflict, you can try to settle it by fighting. However, this is normally a lose-lose situation. Neither party wins. Injury, fines, jail sentence, or being fired are usually the most common outcomes to a physical fight. This does not mean that a fight is never the correct choice. In some situations fighting may be the only option. These situations are few and far between and usually involve a life or death matter.
  2. Flight ~ You can try to settle a conflict by running away from it or by giving in to it. This results in a win-lose situation in which one person wins, and the other feels like s/he has lost. The person who has the feelings of losing could harbor anger and resentment. If these feelings are left unchecked, then more conflict will probably arise in the future because of the feelings.
  3. Verbal problem solving ~ finally a win-win situation. With verbal problem solving, you use your problem solving skills to figure out a way to solve the conflict so that there are as few or no hard feelings as possible. You try to make it so no one feels like s/he has "lost." This response to conflict is the one that is most often suggested because  honest communication is one of the best ways to solve a problem.
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This program was developed by the West Virginia State Department of Education, the West Virginia Workplace Education Program, and the Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) V.