Stress is inevitable when you have to deal with people with strong personalities. If you have the tendency to blow your top and you find yourself butting heads with someone who has a similar disposition, you may be inviting a stressful situation that you don’t need. For instance, that noisy neighbor in your dorm needs to be told something because you need to study for hell week and you’re just about done with all the loud music coming from his or her room in the middle of the night.
Don’t burn yourself out doing something you might regret later on. Here are some tips on how to handle the stress that comes with being fed up, angry or resentful over something that another person does.
File a Legitimate Complaint
Find the best avenue to file a complaint. Your resident assistant (RA), for example, can be the best person to approach if you have some issues with a dorm mate or a neighbor. There’s always someone around that can help mediate when you really want to confront another person. State your case as calmly as you can, making sure that the other person sees why you think your annoyance is justified. People are more able to sympathize with you if the facts are presented clearly and calmly.
Admittedly, this isn’t as satisfying as exchanging words with the person, but this is a good way to avoid a fight. Maybe it’s not just you venting out your frustration by telling on this troublesome person. Maybe other people have also complained about this particular issue. The right people need to be told about the problem.
Take the High Road
Any old timer in any competitive industry would tell you to be careful when burning bridges. What does this mean to a college freshman? It means being civil to people, even those you would rather not associate with. College is the time for building career connections, especially if you’re entering a big university. You will meet people who will turn out to be colleagues, mentors, advisers, contacts, potential leads and connections in your future career.
Losing your temper in an extreme way will put you in a bad light, regardless of how justified your actions are. Be remembered as the person that avoided a fight than the person that started a fight. The world is a small place and you will inadvertently meet people that remember you from college. Make a lasting good impression on them by doing the right thing.
But this is easier said than done. If you’re really angry, you may find yourself cutting ties with a gossipy high school classmate who’s now in the same college dorm with you, an inconsiderate roommate, or an irritating know-it-all that scathingly criticized your fashion sense. You’re human. It’s normal to feel angry.
But there is a way to avoid burning a bridge even if you let yourself feel angry or indignant over the injustice done to you. Take the high road.
All this pettiness is beneath you. You’re better than a cat fight or a fist fight. Simply put, you will always consider your goals as your first priority, and all the small petty things that happen during college are trivial compared to your goals.
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