Personal Negotiation Essay

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Negotiation and Conflict Application Paper I immigrated to the United States 15 years ago in pursuit of higher education and a successful career. I discovered that I had to significantly readjust the habits engrained in me from childhood through interacting with new people and dealing with conflicts. My traditional and conservative upbringing in India provided a sheltered environment and programmed me into listening and obeying elders and avoiding conflict at all costs. It was my belief that any conflict big or small with the close ones would cause a strain in the relationships. Thus, I often avoided conflicts and accommodated the wishes of others at the cost of my own. I considered this readily adaptive nature of mine as one of my biggest strengths and took pride in the fact that I was rarely involved in a conflict. • In 1996, I started my Master’s program at George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia. While in school, I lived in an apartment sharing it with a few roommates who were complete strangers to me at that point. This was my first major experience interacting with strangers on a daily basis. Conflicts were very common among our roommates. Initially, I dealt with those conflicts in the same way I used to during my childhood by avoiding conflict as much as possible to accommodating the wishes of others. One of the roommates was Raj, who was playful in nature and more of an extrovert than me. Since the beginning I was not very fond of him. He always used tease people around him. He teased me several time in the presence of others. Although I felt uncomfortable with this at times, I would just avoid him and ignore his comments. However, my behavior changed one day while dining at restaurant when Raj made a comment mocking the manner in which I held my fork and knife. I immediately found myself retaliating to his comments by mocking him in a negative

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