You come back home from a long day of class and, as usual, strike up a conversation with a friend or roommate.
Things are going swimmingly until you pull up a topic like politics. Or the moon landing. Or what you thought of last week’s Community.
No matter how you try to get your opinion out, your friend won’t have it and keeps insisting that her way and her way only is correct.
So… what to do?
First, stay calm.
The last thing you need to do is raise your voice and upset your friend even more. Just keep talking at a normal volume and remember to speak clearly.
This is an everyday conversation, not a debate.
If your friend is the exact opposite of calm and seems she could lose her temper at any moment, try to ignore his or her intense reaction.
That’s just who your friend is and, if he/she truly is that stubborn, there’s nothing you can do to change that. Keep speaking at a normal pace and volume and hopefully your friend will get the message and calm down.
If the conversation does end up getting very intense, step back for a second.
Whether this means allowing for a pause in the dialogue or leaving the room altogether, this will allow your friend to collect his/her thoughts and hopefully move on to something different. You don’t want to get into a fight with your friend over something silly.
Don’t give into a friend’s opinions or demands right away just because he or she is willful.
Calmly state your views and don’t add anything that would stoke the already-growing fire. After all, friendship is a two-way street, which means agreeing to compromise about different beliefs.
With many different sources of knowledge available to college students out there these days, it can be hard to communicate with even a good friend on contentious topics.
However, even if a friend won’t back down from something you think is ridiculous, just remain calm, let her speak her peace, and then make a mental note to avoid the aforementioned topic as much as possible in future conversation.