Who do you have the most conflicts with, at present? Looking at the pandemic where we are all stuck in the same four walls with the same members of the family, it feels that the most amount of conflicts would be taking place with your parents and your siblings, the former has not ended yet and to make situations worse conflicts start to happen in our romantic relationships and with our colleagues who are behind our back asking us to abide by the deadlines. Conflicts are an inevitable part of close relationships and can usually have negative effects on our mental health. These stressful situations in psychology are termed as Interpersonal conflicts.
Interpersonal conflict is defined as any type of conflict or disagreement involving two or more people. The disagreement can be emotional, physical, personal or professional. Conflicts tend to happen due to human interaction and it’s a part of each and everyone’s life. It symbolises that people have differences and they need to express them. There are several reasons which paves a way for the growth of the conflict. Firstly, the presence of different personalities, attitudes, values etc in a close relationship or environment can lead to conflicts. Secondly, poor communication which is followed by misunderstanding and personal differences tend to play a dominant role in giving birth to such disagreements and differences.
Haven’t we all heard that there is a solution to each and every problem. It stands essentially true for these conflicts too. Sometimes it leads to a devastating mental health but on the other hand it can promote relational changes which bind people more closely than they were before. The initial step to resolving the conflict is to be able to identify what type of a conflict it is. The conflicts can be based on misunderstandings, facts , mocks and taunts , differences in personal values and problem solving strategies , ego issues and conflicts based on previous conflicts.
Each type of conflict has a certain way in which it can be handled the best, like conflicts about misunderstandings, mocks and taunts can just be resolved by a bit of clarification and some further exploration. Similarly, conflicts based on fact can just be ended by checking a reliable source. While some disagreements that consist of values or policies, the best resort to get out of the situation is accepting the way the opposite individual is and our incapability to change someone’s mind. Ego conflicts are highly tricky to be solved as there is a lot of concentration being put on the ego rather than the actual problem. Compromise by one party and realisation by the other can make the situation better. The golden rule to solve conflicts arising from previous ones is communication and listening.
There are several other general ways to manage and resolve conflicts after an individual has identified the basis of it. These productive techniques are as follows :-
- WITHDRAWAL- This technique can only be used in intense situations and unimportant situations. In some intense conflicts, where emotions are touching the highest peak temporary withdrawal fits the best as it helps the situations from getting worsened and relationships falling apart. Unimportant situations wherein you feel like the conversation doesn’t really matter, it is better to not invest your time and avoid it. Withdrawal from other kinds of conflicts definitely proves to be a bad idea as it can worsen the problem or lead to more frustration.
- ACCOMODATION – It is the phenomenon where you put another person’s needs above yours. You tend to be the bigger person in the particular situation as you accept the other person’s demand and compromise on your wishes. But, accommodation is not something you should rely on always. Relationships always have give and take and accommodation technique should be used moderately.
- COMPETITION – This means to force your perspective in the situation in order to win the argument. It is the opposite of accommodation and again cannot be used always. Forcing your perspective should be done politely, professionally and respectfully. We need to keep this in mind even if the opposite individual or party acts disrespectful and impolite, as our motto is to resolve the situation rather than worsening it.
- COMPROMISE AND COLLABORATION – Compromise involves getting a part of what each side expected. It’s like getting something is better than getting nothing. Compromise, if not settled well can lead to frustration and bouncing of the conflict. But, if it gets well settled then individuals or groups can step up to the phase of collaboration and let both sides have the perk of win-win situations. This process can lead to better bonding and further development of close relationships. The golden rule of communication and active listening is again applied over here.
We are now aware that interpersonal conflicts are unavoidable situations and these are a part and parcel of our lives. Conflicts lead individuals to admit that they are social beings who are dependent on each other and no one can resolve a conflict single headedly. All of us now need to focus on identifying our differences and disagreements, then choosing the best resolving techniques and always keeping the golden rule of effective communication and active listening alive in our minds. We must try avoiding conflicting situations which are unimportant and making sure that there is proper regulation of our ego issues. These small ways and productive techniques will make our lives much more easier and will help us in dealing effectively with our problems rather than running away from it or feeling extremely stressed about it.