Conflict refers to a difference of opinion or a collision between two or more people or organizations who have opposing beliefs, objectives, interests, or values. Friendships, familial bonds, romantic partnerships, and commercial partnerships are examples of real-world interactions. Divergent views, attitudes, expectations, and goals are common causes of conflict.
Conflict-related emotions and feelings are common in real-world relationships as well. During disagreements, people frequently feel powerful emotions including anger, frustration, hurt, and resentment. Finding a solution to the problem and communicating clearly can be challenging while one is experiencing these feelings.
Power dynamics and influence often cause real-world disagreements. People often use their power to get what they want, which can lead to a power conflict that makes things worse (Westad, 2019). When individuals or groups possess varying degrees of influence or power, they may take advantage of this to advance their agendas or further their aims, possibly at the expense of others. This may lead to conflicts and power struggles when those with more influence or clout may rule over or manipulate others with less influence or clout (Van Baalen, 2021). The disagreement may intensify and get worse if the weaker party pushes back or resists.
Relationships in the real world can be significantly impacted by disagreements. Conflicts that go unresolved can cause a breakdown in communication and trust, which over time can be detrimental to the partnership. Therefore, it’s critical to develop effective conflict management skills and discover a solution that benefits both parties.
Approaches used by individuals or organizations to resolve or lessen conflicts are known as conflict management tactics. Collaboration, compromise, avoidance, accommodation, rivalry, mediation, and arbitration are a few typical tactics. Using active listening techniques is one approach to handling problems in relationships successfully. To verify that you have understood the other person’s position accurately, active listening requires paying attention to what they are saying, seeking clarification, and paraphrasing. You can better grasp the other person’s viewpoint by actively listening, which can assist you in resolving the issue.
Using “I” statements rather than “you” statements while talking is another strategy for handling problems in real-world relationships. Making “I” statements entails expressing your feelings without pointing the finger or criticizing the other person. Saying “You never listen to me,” for instance, may be replaced with “I get frustrated when I don’t feel heard.” This strategy can assist in defusing the situation and motivate the other party to hear your side of the story.
In addition, it’s critical to recognize and communicate sentiments and emotions when there is disagreement in interpersonal relationships. Negative feelings and unresolved issues brought on by ignoring or stifling emotions might eventually destroy the relationship. But it’s also crucial to express emotions and feelings respectfully and constructively that doesn’t make things worse.
Recognizing how interdependence and goals affect conflicts in real-world relationships is also essential. Interdependence is how much a couple relies on each other to succeed. From fully reliant to completely independent. Conflict arises when individuals have different goals or when their goals conflict with each other (Young, 2020). To reach a compromise that lets both sides achieve their top priorities, each side must define and rank its goals. Only then can a solution satisfy both parties.
I will end by saying that disagreement is a typical and natural part of human interactions. Effective conflict management is necessary to keep relationships in the real world joyful and healthy. Understanding the nature of conflict, acknowledging and expressing emotions and feelings, understanding power and influence, using effective communication skills, and taking into account the impact of interdependence and goals are all necessary for effective conflict management in real-world relationships (Hodson, 2020). By learning and employing these skills, people can settle issues respectfully and beneficially which fosters a greater comprehension and appreciation of one another.
Hodson, D. (2020). Going beyond STS education: Building a curriculum for sociopolitical activism. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 20, 592-622. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42330-020-00114-6
Van Baalen, S. (2021). Local elites, civil resistance, and the responsiveness of rebel governance in Côte d’Ivoire. Journal of Peace Research, 58(5), 930-944. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0022343320965675
Westad, O. A. (2019). The sources of Chinese conduct. Foreign Affairs, 98(5), 86-95. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26798251
Young, I. M. (2020). Together in Difference: Transforming the Logic of Group Political Conflict 1. In Undoing Place? (pp. 332-342). Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003058885-30/together-difference-transforming-logic-group-political-conflict-1-iris-marion-young