If you joined a sorority you know exactly what I’m talking about. With that many girls, there’s bound to be some trouble. Of course, you love all your sisters, but let’s be honest here: you’ve had enough. You’re either always involved or in the middle. So how do you stay out of the trouble? We’ve got the answer.
Recognize good and bad conflict.
Now, not all conflict is “drama” and it’s important to know the difference between good and bad conflict. Some situations will actually make you stronger as a person and as a chapter. Other situations will just do harm to you and your sisters. It’s important to identify each of those types of conflict to deal with them accordingly.
Constructive conflict consists of situations that will make everyone stronger. These arguments will build your conflict resolution skills. They could range from different opinions on how to recruit new members to what the formal theme should be. This isn’t emotional or personal but a difference of opinion.
Destructive conflict is conflict that will only bring you down. It’s hurtful. It’s name-calling and back-stabbing and it’s not pretty. In this kind of conflict, no one wins. This is the conflict that you’ll need someone else (an impartial party, like an executive board member) to intervene in.
Don’t listen to gossip.
Girls LOVE to talk and we love to gossip. It’s hardwired in our DNA. But it can get you into a lot of trouble. Gossip leads to taking sides or getting incorrect information on the situation. We’ve all been there. “Suzy said…” or “Guess who she hooked up with…” seems to be common phrases uttered between girls.
What’s the most effective method of stopping it? Say “I can’t talk about that.” This will not only end the gossip but it will change the topic. Your sister will suddenly be interested in why you can’t talk about something and not who hooked up with who the night before.
Don’t give an opinion.
If one of your sisters really needs to talk, you can listen. Just make sure you’re not telling her she’s right or wrong. Putting your two cents in will just make it seem like you’re taking sides. If you, and everyone she’s talking to, take her side your sorority is going to be split in half over the drama of two girls.
Instead of siding with someone, you could say “I understand how you’re feeling” or “That’s a good point.” If you really want, you could even try to diffuse the situation by showing her the other side of the argument. If you’re going to attempt this, make sure to point of that you’re not taking sides or this isn’t your opinion. Playing the devil’s advocate can get messy if you don’t express what you’re doing.
If you’re really stuck in the conflict, go to the mediator or chapter president. Most sororities have someone to diffuse these kinds of situations. The mediator volunteered to be in that position because she’s good at conflict resolution. The president was elected because she’s a leader and problem solver. Use your resources! Your sisters should always be there to help you if it’s something you can’t handle on your own.
Bottom line, drama isn’t fun. Keep in mind however, that conflict doesn’t always have to be bad. When you’re caught in a sticky situation, remember to identify whether or not your conflict with help anyone. If it’s drama, it most likely won’t. Get help and don’t perpetuate the gossip. Help your sisters out by being a positive force in the situation.
Good luck, Sorority Chicsters! XO
Allison Kratz, Ursinus College
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