Sample Compare and Contrast Paper

Comparison between Two People in the Moment of Conflict

In our day to day lives, we live with and encounter many different people. They range from close family members, relatives, friends, and workmates to the general society. These people have different habits and temperaments, usually formed from their childhood and from the experiences they go through as they gradually grow. Different people also react differently to varying life situations and happenings. Indeed, living with people in harmony requires a constant and great sense of understanding of their behavior and reactions to both good and bad occurrences in life. Very often, the way people react during times of convenience and happiness is different from the way they behave during times of conflict, crises or turmoil. Some people are short-tempered and easily offended, while others keep their temper and are able to hold their peace for longer. Since people are created differently from each other, they have strengths and weaknesses differing from one person to the other too. This essay compares and contrasts two people I know and how they react in similar moment involving crisis and conflict. The people are familiar to me since we grew, studied and do many activities together. The essay starts by comparing the two and then moves to contrasting them based on a number of life episodes. One of them is John and the other is Jesse for ease of referencing.

Both John and Jesse are very friendly. They show this by the way that they are able to get along well with most people whether they are strangers to them or people they are already used to. They have good communicative and interpersonal skills which help them to get on well with people of different cultures, religions, races, sex and more. They are also able to exchange ideas confidently with people from different cadres. With such strong and friendly character, when faced by a crisis or conflict, John and Jesse are always able to show sympathy and try to listen emphatically to the viewpoints of the conflicting parties.

A case in point is a day when we went on an outing and were confronted by a group of youth from another neighborhood. Chaos almost broke out, but by the help of John and Jesse, we calmed the youths down, started chatting and later even went for friendly matches together. The youths have now become John and Jesse’s friends, and they do visit one another during their free time and help each other when in trouble. A friendly nature is an expensive and worthy characteristic for a person to possess since it helps them in living in peace and getting along well with others with little or no friction. This is a characteristic that I have learnt from my friends, and it helps me a lot in handling people that I meet and deal with on a day to day basis.

Further, both John and Jesse are talkative and have wide knowledge of various subjects. In a moment of crisis they are therefore able to talk the issues out with the people involved. Like Buddha once said, “hatred is not ended by hatred but by love and the sympathetic desire to hear the viewpoint of the other person”, they are both able to listen to the views of the other person, and this makes them able to make sound decisions without rushing into hasty decisions or jumping to conclusions that may have devastating effects afterwards.

I have seen John and Jesse confronted by tough situations of conflict that needed their solutions. For instance, a few months ago, there broke out a fight during a football match between two rival teams. Instead of joining in the fight and fuelling it to get out of hand, they were able to talk with the supporters of the competing team and brought the fight to an end. If they were not talkative, they would not have been able to deal with the rowdy supporters and the matter would have gotten out of hand. As noted above, different people have varying strengths and weaknesses. As such, these two are not exceptional and therefore the following paragraphs discuss how each of them reacts during times of crises and conflict.

Due to his understanding nature, John is able to show restraint during crisis. He is slow to react and first listens to the causes of a crisis before making a conclusion or judgment. He is slow to talk too and enforces the understanding by the saying that he has two ears to listen more, and one mouth to speak less. With such listening skills, he is able to resolve almost any conflict amicably and if he is the one in the wrong, he is able to accept and apologize thereby bringing the matter to a win-win situation, leaving all the parties happy and satisfied.

On the contrary, Jesse is not as understanding as John. His reactions during turmoil are quick, rash and sometimes even partial. If he is in the wrong, it is not usually easy for him to accept the fact, but he is quick to shift blame on other parties without first listening or seeking to know the genesis of the conflict. For instance, we once went out with his dad’s car, and he parked along the road in undesignated parking area. Another motorist scratched the car and thus an exchange of words started. Despite having parked on the road, Jesse did not see his mistake and confronted the motorist to a point of hurling insults to him. If he were a calmer person, he would have learnt that he had made a mistake by parking wrongly and would have apologized to the motorist to bring the matter to an end. It took my intervention and that of my colleagues to bring him to understanding and ending the confrontation, leaving the motorist to go.

John is able to employ diplomacy during a crisis while Jesse is not. According to Kissinger (2012), diplomacy is the art or skill of managing negotiations and handling people so that there is little or no ill will. When faced by a crisis, John tactfully engages all the people involved into negotiating the matter and finding possible solutions that are acceptable to all parties. This is a great asset to all aspiring leaders like John since it helps to bring peace and reconciliation in a rather fluid situation. Unlike John, Jesse is somehow uncultured and quite rude. He likes dealing with a matter in a confrontational manner, which does not go well with most people that he encounters. Most people like someone who is humble and they are able to deal with easily and in a professional manner. While he may not know that he is of this nature, it is good to understand why he behaves like this. According Wendel (2013), most temperamental behaviors are formed during childhood, from the experiences that children go through or from what they learn or experience from the environment that they grow in. For this case, Jesse may have grown in an environment where his parents were fighting or where he encountered violence during his growth. It is thus important for parents to be cautious of the things they say or do in the presence of their children, for this contributes to their ability to handle different situations as they arise in their lives.

John, however understanding and diplomatic he may be, is quite revengeful as compared to Jesse who is more forgiving and calm. When John tries to solve a crisis to his level best and fails, he results to revenge in order to feel at equal with the other party. Jesse, though not understanding like John, will forgive faster even when he first harshly exchanges with his detractors. This is attributable to the fact that he was brought up by God-fearing parents who taught him the art of forgiveness, which is divine. In a certain episode, we were in a restaurant with John, where we received poor services from the waiters who were slow and rude. We called the manager and after some negotiations, the manager became defensive and took the side of the waiters. John got so angry and was rude to the manager and the waiters in order to revenge for himself since his desire for harmonious settlement of the matter had failed. Had this matter involved Jesse, the outcome would have been different. After maybe confronting the waiters, he would have forgiven them finally without resulting to insults or getting rude.

In conclusion, different people have different temperaments and respond differently to varying situations of conflict and crisis. Behavioral psychologists agree that the reaction to such situations by people is based on their upbringing and the experiences they go through during childhood. The environment that children grow in also contributes to the way people resolve conflicts or how they respond to unpleasant conditions or misfortunes when they grow up. This essay has compared and contrasted two friends, John and Jesse and how they react to scenarios of conflict and crisis. Both of them are friendly and they are thus able to handle a situation in a friendly manner without necessarily offending the parties involved or getting easily offended themselves. Due to their talkative nature, they approach a difficult situation with the aim of talking it out and finding a solution. However, John comes out as understanding compared to his friend Jesse who is not as understanding, and John is revengeful while Jesse is more forgiving. John employs diplomacy while Jesse applies the rule of the jungle when facing a crisis. From this comparison and contrast, there are many lessons to learn on how to respond during crisis. Keeping calm, understanding, forgiving, shunning revenge, humility, keeping quiet and diplomacy are good temperamental characteristics for people to possess in order to get along well with others.


Kissinger, H. (2012). Diplomacy. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster Publishers.

Wendel, S. (2013). Designing for behavior change: Applying psychology and behavioral economics.  Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, Inc.

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