In honor of Conflict Resolution Day (Thu 18), we asked professional mediator Alex Yaroslavsky to help resolve four famous NYC feuds. Peace...in!
Thu Oct 18 2007
What’s the beef? Rosie criticized Trump’s unfortunate hair and playboyish marital values. Trump retaliated by calling her a “loser” and a “big, fat pig.”
How to get over it: “Mr. Trump probably dislikes criticism as much as the next billionaire divorcé with uncooperative hair,” says Yaroslavsky. “And when Rosie made fun of him on television for chasing young women, she collapsed a living man into a caricature. The criticism seemed especially unfair, as he was trying to help young Tara Conner to rehab. Trump then called O’Donnell a ‘fat pig’—the worst insult he could summon toward a woman without being bleeped. If Donald and Rosie were interested in modeling good behavior, each could apologize and call it a day.”
What’s the beef? One step down from a sex scandal on the political suicide scale is having your kids tarnish your perfect family image. While son Andrew admits “there’s obviously a little problem,” daughter Caroline more passive-aggressively supports Obama on her Facebook page.
How to get over it: “Withholding support may stem from a combination of anger, estrangement, lack of trust and personal political leanings,” says Yaroslavsky. “Both children lived through the disintegration of the original Giuliani family and could blame their father, his career and his current wife, a likely magnet for the children’s ire. It’s up to Rudy and his kids to reach out to each other.”
What’s the beef? Grandson Philip Marshall claims that his father, Anthony D. Marshall, mistreated and neglected Grandma Astor, and manipulated her into willing her great fortune and multimillion-dollar home in Maine to him.
How to get over it: “Anthony and Philip may be fighting about Brook Astor’s estate, but the conflict might run deeper,” notes our trusty ref. “Lack of trust and communication might have as much to do with the acrimony as the prospect of controlling an extra $200 million.” Yaroslavsky’s best advice? “Mrs. Astor’s memory would be well served if both Marshalls could agree to leave the past in the past and work—together or separately—to honor Mrs. Astor by advancing her charitable causes.”
What’s the beef? Mets fans hate the Yankees ’cause they buy-buy-buy their talent. And the Yanks fans strut about like arrogant cocks, knowing full well their team has won more titles (this season notwithstanding).
How to get over it: “Oh, how it hurts to see your favorite underdog stubbornly remain so. Especially when the other team—which usually gets all the glory—actually lives up to the hype,” says Yaroslavsky. “At moments like this, it’s easy to turn frustration into bitterness and minimize the success of your nemesis. I suggest taking the high road: Admit your disappointment and renew your allegiance to the underdog. Respect the other team’s fans for their choice—or at least pretend you do.”
Yaroslavsky will present the lecture “Conflict Leadership: How to Inspire Cooperation from Everyone Around You” on Thu 18 at the 92nd Street Y (1395 Lexington Ave at 92nd St). Visit 92y.org for more info.