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How Well Do You Deal with Conflict?

My colleague who teaches interpersonal communication assigned groups of students to present information on each chapter in their textbook. The group of students who were assigned to the Conflict chapter felt they really didn't have anything to present. This was their attitude:


"Why should we present the chapter on conflict when we just avoid conflict?"

Consider that attitude for a moment. On one hand, it's trying to preserve peace by avoiding conflict. However, it doesn't mean that the conflict doesn't exist. It only brings about more separation between you and the person--or community--with which you have the conflict.


This further isolates you from other people's perspective. It solidifies your own sense of right--even if you might be wrong. It makes you more vulnerable to opposing views AND more susceptible to propaganda from those whose views with which you agree.


In this way, we don't learn. We might endorse "diversity," but what does that mean when the diverse views are only the ones we believe to be "right?" How do we know we're not wrong? Where is the "right" in the other point of view?


I do find it interesting these days that if we encounter someone with opposing views--or even views that aren't popular--we just cancel them. We think this ostracism will punish these ideas into obscurity. However, it only shows our immaturity and inability to manage conflict.