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You are going to read an article about conflict resolution strategies. For each question 31 – 36, choose the correct answer.
How Not to Argue
Few people enjoy arguing, and most of us are prepared to do just about anything to avoid a quarrel. This makes sense, for arguments are never pleasant. They sap us of our energy, leaving us drained. If you are a sensitive person, a row may leave you feeling shaken for days. Going about your day-to-day tasks can be hard in such a state, and can even affect your health. Meanwhile, after heated arguments, reconciliation can be difficult to achieve. Thus, most people will agree that arguments are highly undesirable. The question remains, though, of how best to avoid conflict.
According to psychologist Gemma Bates, many people believe that disputes are inevitable. "Most of my clients claim that, once a conversation has reached a certain point, there is no going back. They believe they have no control over whether an argument will happen." When she realised that her clients felt this way, Bates began looking into conflict resolution strategies. "If people feel that arguments can't be avoided, they won't even try to stop them," Bates explains. "I saw that this belief was damaging my clients' relationships, so I decided to look for practical tips they could use in difficult situations."
Research suggests that a few simple steps are all it takes to stop a row. Amazingly, many of these tactics are simple to put into practice. Of the methods Bates studied, three in particular caught her attention. She sums up her findings with the motto "Be open, be present, and be kind." The framework underlying this catchphrase has already helped many of her clients. In the future, it is bound to help other people, too.
In tense situations, people's body language tends to reflect the emotions they are feeling. For example, they may stand with their arms crossed over their chest, or they might frown. In the worst of cases, they may refuse to make eye contact, and staring into space or looking at the floor. These gestures come across as hostile, even if the person making them has not actually decided to appear negative. When Bates talks about "openness," therefore, she refers not to being open-minded, but to communicating with your body that you are willing to talk.
The notion of being "present" is just as logical. For Bates, the word means two things. On the one hand, she believes people must fully commit themselves to the other person when a tough situation comes up. That means, for example, putting down your phone, stopping what you're doing, and paying close attention. "Presentness" also means forgetting about past conflicts and focusing on the current moment. "It doesn't help anyone to rehash disputes from five years back," Bates says.
Lastly, Bates urges people to treat each other with kindness. Rudeness and insensitivity should be avoided at all costs. In Bates's view, only by building a foundation of respect will it be possible for people to move forward with their relationship. Bates also reminds people, though, that if someone you tend to argue with repeatedly ignores this principle, it may be a sign that the relationship is not healthy. In these types of cases, she recommends that people step away.
In the current world, where people are constantly rushing from place to place, the risk for arguments is higher than ever. Bates's research is a helpful reminder of the need to make time for the conversations that matter. "Arguments can happen at work, in school, at home, or even between strangers! It's important for people to know how to manage them." Bates goes on to explain that, "My goal is for people to live happier lives. Hopefully my three-point framework will help to achieve this."
31. Which sentence best describes the point being made in paragraph 1?
32. What motivated Bates to research conflict resolution strategies?
33. Which of the following gestures is NOT listed as an example of negative body language?
34. What is the meaning of "rehash" in paragraph 5?
35. What advice does Bates give in paragraph 6?
36. Why does the author of the article believe that "the risk for arguments is higher than ever"?