Monday, September 24, 2012

Nip in the Bud

This morning Ale started telling me about an issue he had had with Nico earlier. Before Ale could finish Nico jumped in to say he realized that he had been wrong and there was no point in involving me. But of course it was too late... Ale had already told me about it. This got me thinking of the benefit of resolving problems early before they escalate. To "nip them in the bud", as the expression says. Had Nico acknowledged his mistake right away Ale would not have brought it up with me.

We discussed similar situations in which arguments with their classmates escalate to their teachers, sometimes with serious consequences. All because they didn't resolve them early when they could have. Often, it is as simple as a brief apology. Nico asked about situations in which he was not in the wrong. I said even then it was often best to put problems behind when it is "inexpensive" to do so. I gave them the example of a bill I once got for $27. The bill was incorrect so I didn't pay it. A collections agency then called me. Again I explained the problem and refused to pay it. Next thing I know the unpaid bill appeared in my credit report (where it probably stayed for 7 years!). A few years later I got a similar bill (from another vendor). Guess what I did? You bet I just paid it and moved on!

Sometimes you want to take a stand and fight for your beliefs. But you should do so consciously and weighting the pros and cons. Pick your fights - and nip the others in the bud quickly.

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