Before Ashley decides how to confront her conflict with John, she needs to establish what is going on and what her priorities are. Let’s hear John’s and Ashley’s perceptions of the situation.

John's perspective:

Ashley's perspective:

Let’s unpack what is going on for Ashley:

1. What are the facts?
What does Ashley actually know?
  • There is loud noise coming from Johns room from the tv, music and having friends over
  • John and Ashley generally get on really well, except for the noise he makes
What has she assumed?
  • That John won’t minimise the noise
  • That there aren’t other options for John to socialise elsewhere
What evidence does she have?
  • The noise
Could anyone else have other information that might change things?
  • The RA (Residential Assistant) might be able to help with rules and guidelines and possibly talk to John about the noise
  • Is it true that John’s room is loud all the time? – Other residents may also have an opinion
  • What information might John have about the situation? (For example, at this stage Ashley hasn’t said anything to him, so she doesn’t know what he might think or say)
  • John or John’s friends – may be able to help with his schedule so they can plan around each other
2. What is Ashley feeling?
  • Really frustrated
  • Stressed about getting her study done
  • Contemplating leaving the college that she loves.
  • She’s at her wits end
3. What’s really important?

What could be Ashley’s underlying reasons for wanting this situation to change? Sometimes people get focused on a particular outcome and don’t realise that it is not actually the most important thing to them. A useful question to ask yourself is “why do I want this particular outcome?”

For example, Ashley may want John to reduce the noise but if we asked her to explain why she wanted that, her reasons could be:

  • It’s affecting her ability to study in her room
  • It’s affecting her ability to rest in her room
  • She feels disrespected when John doesn’t let her know when his friends are coming over and it will be noisy
  • It’s affecting her mood which is having an impact at her part-time job

If Ashley takes some time to really think about what is important to her she will be able to make a better decision about what her options are.

We have put together a worksheet that you can use to get clearer about what’s going on in your own conflict.