Conflict and balancing needs

A youth worker says, “I am in conflict with a fourteen-year-old boy. I want him to talk to me and engage, and he doesn’t want to have anything to do with me.”

Although the youth worker would like to balance their needs with the boy’s needs, in this extreme situation – because they are in conflict, until the youth worker extends and builds trust, there is no balance.

It’s the youth worker’s job to go to where the boy is. First, they must earn the boy’s attention, build some trust, and become mutually engaged. After that, if the boy becomes curious, only then can it be about balancing both of their needs.