Reactions to Conflict

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By pbrfan35
Words 579
Pages 3
In all aspects of our lives, we sometimes find ourselves facing conflict. It can happen at work, at home, at school, even when we’re out with friends. Although conflict is something everyone deals with throughout our lives, there are a number of ways we can choose to deal with it. Biologically, we all have the “fight or flight” instinct when faced with conflict, but those are the extremes. Some reactions fall somewhere between a fight or flight response.

One possible reaction to conflict is aggression, which would be the “fight” reaction. This commonly presents itself during emotional conflicts, where the aggressor believes wholeheartedly that they are right and nothing the other person says makes any difference. Even in less emotional conflicts, an aggressive person may feel entitled to have things their way and refuse to compromise. This type of reaction rarely ends in a way that leaves both parties happy.

The “flight” reaction refers to an extremely passive stance during conflict. The phrase “passive reaction” is almost an oxymoron. Someone who is very passive most likely won’t have much of a reaction at all. This can also be referred to as avoidance, since in essence, a passive person will most likely choose to avoid conflict at all cost. Unfortunately this reaction also rarely ends in compromise, with the passive person simply giving in without asserting any of their own needs.

From my experience, the most common reaction to conflict is a passive-aggressive response. An example of this type of response would be discussing an issue with a coworker and ultimately agreeing with whatever they say rather than causing an argument, but talking to anyone else about how unfair it is behind their back. Wikipedia defines this type of reaction as:

“Passive-aggressive behavior can resemble a…...

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