Quotes for teens on life lessons

Quote for teens on conflict resolution: 'In any conflict, be sure you know what you really want...'

"In any conflict, be sure you know what you really want,
and whether what you are doing is actually helping you get there."

-- Truth Be Told Quotes

Whether it’s a friend, a boss, an obtuse government… everyone has an issue with someone at some point. Whatever your conflict is about, personal attacks and overreaction won’t help resolve it. Instead, ask yourself what you really want, and whether the way you are handling the situation will get you there. Do you want an apology? Acknowledgment? Change? Whatever it is, you’re a lot more likely to get what you want if you stay focused with actions that can actually help.

Activities for this quote

Teaching resources

Bring this quote into your classroom with a lesson guide and activities that are ready to use.

Quote Overview / Description

This quote helps teens understand that in everyone’s life, conflict happens-- what matters is how they deal with it. We can’t avoid conflict all together, but when it occurs, there are techniques for resolving conflict that are more effective than others.

Name calling, personal attacks, and overblown emotional responses generally don’t help resolve conflict. Instead, taking a moment to calm down and figure out what you really want in the situation is a lot more productive. Focusing your arguments on how you want the conflict to resolve (with an apology, acknowledgement, change) is more likely to get you what you want. And staying respectful in how you communicate is essential if you want to resolve the conflict and keep your relationships in tact afterwards. (Also see the quote "It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.") for tips on communicating during conflict.

Discussion questions / Writing Prompts

Questions to prompt discussion, journaling, essays for high school health class and social emotional development lessons:

  1. Have you ever been in a discussion and someone said something hurtful? Did it help the discussion at all?
  2. Have you ever been in a discussion and felt like the other person wasn’t listening? Why didn’t they hear you?
  3. Think of the last argument you were in. What did you really want from the argument? Did you want the other person to acknowledge a wrong-doing? Validate your feelings? Change their behavior?
  4. Think of a problem you are having with someone in your life, a friend, parent, boyfriend/girlfriend. What do you want to change? How could you approach them about the issue while also staying focused on what you really want?
  5. Is there a difference between a discussion and an argument?
  6. Have you ever been in an argument and had to really consider where the other person was coming from? What did you change about your own behavior?
  7. What is the best scenario you have seen for how people resolve conflict? What traits did the people demonstrate that kept the argument civil?


Activities and worksheets for teen SEL / high school health and wellness lessons:

  1. Conflict Resolution Skills Activity- In this SEL activity and worksheet, teens use real world scenarios to build healthy skills to resolve conflict.
  2. Communicate Online with Respect Activity- Teens learn to think before posting in this activity and worksheet on communicating with respect and caring in an online world.
  3. Conflict and Protest in History Activity- This activity for high school teens, promotes discussion about the role of conflict in society from a historical perspective, including healthy ways of resolving social conflict and expressing different opinions.
  4. Journal Writing Page- Download a printable journal writing page with writing prompts for a reflective activity with this quote.

Coloring Pages

Download printable coloring pages for a mindfulness activity that features this quote.

  1. Classic coloring page
  2. Crashing Waves coloring page
  3. No Bull coloring page

Curriculum Topics

High School Health Class / Social Emotional Development Core Curriculum Alignment:

  • Communication skills, inter-personal relationships
  • Conflict resolution strategies
  • Importance of healthy relationships
  • Coping skills / emotions


  • Strategies to reduce conflict and resolve conflict in health ways
  • Recognizing and managing emotions
  • Characteristics of healthy and effective communication

Character Traits/Values

  • Respect- communicating respectfully
  • Perseverance- being calm and focused even when it's hard
  • Empathy- listening to and understanding where the other person is coming from
  • Self-control- controlling tone and message

The quote and opening paragraph of this page are an excerpt from the Book, Truth Be Told Quotes: Teen Edition. Presented with permission from the author, Colleen Doyle Bryant. ©LoveWell Press. Find the print and ebook versions of Truth Be Told Quotes on the Shop page.

Buy the book

Colleen Doyle Bryant

Colleen Doyle Bryant is the author of five books and more than 50 learning resources about making good choices for the right reasons. Her Talking with Trees series for elementary students and Truth Be Told Quotes series for teens are used in curriculums around the world. Rooted in Decency, Colleen's latest release for an adult audience, explores what happened to common decency and how we can get to a place of more cooperation and kindness. Learn more at ColleenDoyleBryant.com.

You may also like: