The ideal world would not have any villains. We’d go about our peaceful days without conflict. This “drama-free” world would not be functional, however, because by our very natures we have different interests and therefore investments. I’d rather wake up early to write broadly about how John and Trishna (right), main characters of “The Story” might overcome adversity, here shown as Dr. Mindbender (left). You might prefer clicking on the link/image below to continue reading.
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (just chatting about psychology/backstories)
How John and Trishna handle “villainy” is informed by their upbringing.
They’re both willing to stand their ground on certain situations. That does lead to conflict, “drama,” and overconfidently charging into a situation can lead to disaster. Usually it’s better to ignore the minor conflicts. What could be perceived as fighting words could be misconstrued. People have bad days. It’s easier to express negative energy, blow off steam, or get mad at anyone that’ll listen.
That’s where listening in to malicious intent comes into play.
If the language is broadcast more broadly, then it’s just someone that needs to vent. If they’re talking directly to you, about actions that you did, and how you need to change, then they’re feeling hurt. In both situations, there are a few ways to successful and unsuccessfully quench the situation. The worst approach is to “fight fire with fire,” emotion for emotion. Yeah, it’ll feel good in the moment.
It’s all about calmy diffusing the situation.
“I understand” is a powerful diffuser. When someone yells at me now, I listen to all of what they say, and just neutrally reply with “I understand.” This might upset some people. Hold steady. Do not let your blood pressure rise at all. Do not let their emotions break into your mind palace. You’ll have plenty to think about later on after the heat of battle. Remain calm. Let them express their emotions, fully.
Walk away when you can and give them time to reflect.
That is a more mature approach I’ve learned over years of studying conflict both in research and in the field of life. John and Trishna are kids. Trishna has two loving parents that help her navigate bullying in school, along with older siblings, and a service dog to help out. John was pushed around to various foster homes, with just a mentoring teacher, reading, and some phone calls with Trishna’s parents for assistance.
They might end up addressing stress differently.
John has simply encountered more conflict than Trishna. Through fights at school, arguments with foster parents, and general bullying, John might brute-force learn how to defuse stressful situations based on unsuccessful encounters until Mr. Ebersole mentors him on better approaches to handling conflict. Trishna, by comparison, might not be as well-equipped to handle stress.
That is, at least, until they first meet.
Inspirations: Recent/historical conflict resolution.