Adolescence is often a time of very important changes—physical, emotional, cognitive, and social—and learning how to navigate this complicated web of interpersonal relationships is of critical importance during this period. Unlike childhood, where peer friendships have many of the same parameters and expectations, adolescence introduces far more nuanced and complex relationship dynamics. When it comes to social conflicts for lesbian teens or, more broadly, teens who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT), these dynamics can be even more challenging. For the sake of your teen, learning effective conflict resolution skills can make a tremendous difference in her life—a difference that can resonate through adulthood.
Many facets of effective conflict resolution—whether for teens or adults, straight or gay—are identical. In traditional conflict resolution, a neutral environment for both parties is often suggested, so as not to allow one person to have, or be perceived as having, an unfair advantage. Using a practiced problem-solving process to help diffuse tempers and align thinking can be an extremely helpful tool. Communication techniques, like learning to listen attentively, explain honestly, seek out common or compatible interests, and accept another person’s point of view—even if it isn’t an agreeable one—are all very valuable useful skills for anyone to develop. While social conflicts for lesbian teens may be inevitable sometimes, arming your LGBT teen with the ability to help resolve issues within meaningful relationships can go a long way toward building a healthy personality, as well as a potentially smoother transition to college and beyond.