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Different Sides of a Dispute
Arguments are never good and never end well. A majority of the time, it’s over something completely not worth it, like who gets the most sprinkles on their ice cream, or who has the most carefully folded bed. Really, these things are not things that matter, but somehow we always think it does. I can unfortunately say I’ve been in a pretty good amount of arguments. Whether with my younger sister, or my volleyball team, or even my parents. However, I’m not always the one who starts the argument. Sometimes I’m not even supporting it. In an argument, you can have different roles. You can be the person who started it, or the person who gets pulled into it, but makes it worse. You can also be a peacemaker, someone who resolves the argument, or at least tries to. I’ve been all three. Let me tell you about it.
In the first argument, I was the one who started it. When I was quite a bit younger, I had a good friend, however, I had started hanging out with another girl. The first girl was fine with this; she had other friends. So I became best friends with the second girl. Now, after a while, I started to spend time with both girls, separately. They either didn’t mind or didn’t know, I never found out. But eventually, slowly but surely, they stopped hanging out with me, and started hanging out with each other. I didn’t notice at first, but suddenly, one day I did. I was usually a calm person, one that didn’t get easily frustrated and almost never the one to start an argument. Well, maybe once. Anyway, this quickly became the second. I confronted my two once-friends one day at recess.
“Why aren’t you being friends with me anymore?” I asked them. I couldn’t figure out why these two girls, who once didn’t care to acknowledge each other, now cared more about the other more than me.
“Well, we just wanted to play the same game,” said my first friend.
“Yeah,” said the second girl. “Remember, we asked you if you wanted to play too and you said no?”
Personally, I couldn’t remember this event. This only made me more mad.
“Well, you should have played with me anyway. I thought we were friends!” I was close to shouting now, a rare occurrence. The conversation had turned, just like that. My second friend looked like she was about to cry. The first girl, who was a bit bolder, shot back at me.
“It’s all your fault! You were the one who didn’t want to play with us! And you were the one who started it!”
For some reason, this simple accusation set me off. I burst into tears and ran off, crying at the far side of the field behind a tree until the end of recess. For the rest of the day I avoided both girls. Eventually the events of the day would be forgotten and we would become friends again, the three of us. But the damage was done for that day. Words hurt, especially on that day. That was in argument in which I was the starter, the cause of it all.
The next argument was one where I was not the one to start it, but the antagonizer of this particular dispute. It was between me and my younger sister, over something completely unimportant. A few years ago, it was cold outside, so my dad made us hot chocolate. I happened to love hot chocolate, so I quickly finished it. She, on the other hand, accidentally let her hot chocolate get cold. So, I went to warm it up for her. After placing it in the microwave for a minute, I took it out and took a small sip to test its warmth. My sister, seeing this, yelled at me.
“Stop drinking my hot chocolate!” She was quite annoyed.
“I was only checking to make sure it was warm!” I retorted.
“Dad! Amelia’s drinking all my hot chocolate!” Of course, this was a bit of an overstatement, but unfortunately he believed her.
“Amelia, please give Carissa her hot chocolate back,” said my dad.
“Why do you always believe her? I was just heating it up and checking to make sure it’s warm enough!” He sighed.
“Well, just give it back please,” he said. I was really frustrated. To me, it seemed he always took her side.
“Why do you hate me? Carissa always gets what she wants! I bet if I tried to tell you something she did wrong you would believe me!” I didn’t realize it, but my sister was, at this time, in tears. I ran out of the room and went upstairs to our bedroom. Of course, my dad did not hate me, but it was mostly the second part that I had meant. She, being younger, was more hurt than I was by this scat, but I, on the other hand, didn’t even consider the effect of my hurtful words. Again we made up, but the argument had made a dent in our relationship. That was a time when I made it worse.
My last story is one of when I was a peacemaker in an argument. A peacemaker is someone who helps to resolve or even prevent an argument before it is even started. I am not a super aggressive person, and I am often a peacemaker for my friend’s arguments. This particular dispute happened over text, between my club volleyball team. It was a few days before one of our biweekly Saturday tournaments.Some rude comments had been made and one girl thought that “not everyone is pulling their weight” and “I don’t know about some of you, but the cost of club volleyball puts a strain on some people’s money.” This, combined with the fact that two of the other players had been bringing a conflict between the two of them onto the court, led to a lengthy and angry argument. At first, I couldn’t figure out what to do. So many hateful words were being thrown, and more were shot back before I could say a thing. I finally managed to get my few words into the conversation. I asked the few key players in the dispute why they were saying the things they were, and, after a lot of carefully chosen words, managed to calm down most of the girls. Apologies were eventually given, and our team was united enough to play a tournament a few days later. Looking back on the whole thing, I later realized the argument had started with one girl, asking why another had make a mean comment. I found it disappointing that something small had drawn in everyone and started a huge argument, but I was also glad I had been able to solve the disagreement. That was a time when I was successfully a peacemaker.
I’m sure some of you have all been in arguments of your own at some point or another. Maybe you started it, or maybe you made it worse. But next time you hear your friends or family arguing, try to be a peacemaker. It’s always better to at least try to be a peacemaker rather than taking side, or being an antagonizer or an arguer. So give it a try, and see if you can help your friends and family become closer together.