When you’re gaming, your group may very well be responsible for whether you make it out alive. You rely on them and they rely on you. That considerable amount of trust is the foundation of any solid relationship. Despite the virtual worlds where these relationships start, the dynamic that occurs and the potential conflicts that arise are real. So what do you do when your allies suddenly feel like your enemies? As with any other relationship, follow a few simple strategies to help resolve your conflicts and keep your bond going strong:
Real communication means being purposeful in what you say and how you say it. Wait until you’re composed and keep your tone calm so what you share is thoughtful, not reactive. One rule of thumb is to use “I” statements vs “you,” to keep it focused on yourself rather than the other person, which can put them on the defensive. Instead of saying, “you didn’t listen to me” you’d say, “I didn’t feel heard.” Be clear about what the issue is and what you’re looking to change. Sometimes a resolution comes just from being able to share one’s feelings.
And on this note: communicate clearly, literally. You know that feeling when you can hear every single keystroke your teammate is making? It feels a bit like nails on a chalkboard sounds. Well, that’s the audio quality you’re sending out to your team. Want to hush the keyboard chatter? Check out ModMic 5. See it in action below.
Listen More, Talk Less
As important as it is to share your feelings, take turns being both speaker and listener. An active listener will paraphrase and repeat what they’ve heard to the other person to give them the chance to clarify what may have been misunderstood. Allow them to speak uninterrupted and wait until they’re finished sharing before jumping in with follow-up questions.
Don’t Wait to Say It
It’s better to talk through a problem when it strikes because you’re more apt to accurately describe what happened and communicate how it felt. Letting time pass affects your recall and also risks allowing what may be a relatively small incident to fester, turning into resentment. One caveat: if you’re red in the face from rage, take a beat to calm down first.
Pick your Battles
In life as in game play, we have to choose our battles and not every tussle warrants a confrontation. Try letting go of the small stuff and focus on the bigger picture and the positive attributes of your sometimes-annoying-but-favorite teammate.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Losing sucks, but chances are we’ll make different choices the next time we’re playing. The same is true with relationships; while we can’t avoid all conflict, every argument is an opportunity to learn how to communicate and empathize, two solid strategies that will not just up your game but make lasting friendships.
We hope this helps the next time things get heated with your friends. Remember, communication starts with both listening and being heard, and if you want to both be heard clearly and hear your friends, it helps to have a nice pair of headphones with a ModMic. What is a ModMic? Learn more here!