At a Glance: Conflict is an inevitable part of life, but you can control how you handle it. Start with being a good listener, and understand the difference between a worthy battle and unnecessary drama. 
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes, 43 seconds


Take this quiz to find out what you do when conflict happens — and how you might deal with it better. Get to know your personal conflict style to identify strong points, work on weaknesses and get better at getting what you want.

1)    You’re out to lunch with a dear friend who suddenly starts ranting about a highly charged political topic. You completely disagree with her. You:

a.    Quickly excuse yourself to the bathroom.
b.    Stay tight-lipped, nodding in agreement.
c.    Take her on, point by point. Bam!
d.    Suggest you agree to disagree.
e.    Tell her you couldn't see things more differently, and propose a book swap and follow-up lunch to discuss.

2)    You don’t sign up to help with the school fundraiser because you’re way too busy this year. Then the organizer emails you directly, saying she could really use your help again, pretty please? You:

a.     Delete the email and pretend you never received it.
b.    Reply that you’d be happy to help. You’ll figure it out somehow. Who needs sleep?
c.     Reply with a concise list of reasons why you honestly just cannot.
d.    Say you’re swamped, but maybe there’s something that only requires a few hours?
e.     Explain that sorry, you really can’t, but you’d be happy to help spread the word to others.

3)     You left the babysitter with clear instructions: No screen time. When you come home early, the kids are zoned out on the couch, mid-movie. You:

a.    Fume quietly, and vow never to use her again.
b.    Assume she needed some downtime and let it slide.
c.    Flip the TV off and call the situation what it is: Unacceptable.
d.    Ask why the TV is on when you specifically said “no screens.”
e.    Tell her you now feel as if you can’t trust her, and ask if there’s anything that might change that.

4)     You’re checking out at your local big box home store and notice that an item you swear was on sale for $5 off rung up at regular price. You:

a.    Keep quiet. It’s just five bucks.
b.    Keep quiet. Surely the clerk doesn’t need the extra headache.
c.    Tell the clerk to give you the $5 off.
d.    Mumble, “I swear that was on sale, but whatever…”
e.    Tell the clerk you believe there’s been a $5 mistake.

5)     Your neighbor rarely cuts his grass, and the sight of that overgrown mess next to the yard you work so hard on drives you bonkers. You:

a.    Choose to fume quietly rather than possibly hurting his feelings.
b.    Decide you’re being too fussy. Live and let live, right?
c.    Knock on his door and tell him he needs to up his yard-care game, stat.
d.    Call the city anonymously to complain.
e.    Talk to him to see if you can find out what’s behind this severe lapse in lawn care.

6)     Your group spent a lot of time on a project that you all felt pretty confident was solid “A” material. The teacher gives you a “C.” You:

a.    Just move on. Who has the energy?
b.    Dust yourself off and vow to do better next time.
c.    Email the teacher to explain why you deserved better.
d.    Email the teacher to ask why you didn’t do better.
e.    Email the group to open a discussion on possible next steps.

RESULTS

Mostly As: The Avoider
You don’t sweat the small stuff and you take time to think before you speak. While both are stand-up tactics, ignoring things altogether isn’t healthy long-term. Speak up when it matters, rather than letting little, manageable conflicts linger and grow into big, unresolvable problems.

Mostly Bs: The Accommodator
You’re kind and can easily see another’s point of view — both wonderful traits. But know that your point of view is really important, too. Express it to avoid resentment. Your needs can’t be met unless others know they exist.

Mostly Cs: The Competitor
You’re a winner, and could probably be voted “Least Likely to Get Taken Advantage Of.” Good for you! But keep in mind that somehow convincing others you’re right doesn’t actually make you right. Try taking a deep breath and listening more often. You’ll probably learn things.

Mostly Ds: The Compromiser
You’re extremely considerate and always willing to sacrifice for the common good. But don’t forget that when everyone gives up a little, no one’s totally satisfied. Rather than meeting in the middle, try brainstorming how you might all broaden understanding of the others’ points of view. It may take longer, but positive growth usually does.

Mostly Es: The Collaborator
You’re a good listener, creative thinker and team player. You’re also confident in your own opinion. Try and be patient with those for whom conflict management doesn’t come so naturally, okay? And hone your ability to tell the difference between a worthy battle and unnecessary drama. Sometimes it’s cool to just let things go.