Understanding Conflict Made Simpler

These days, it seems like there are so many issues to tackle on the global stage, it is a wonder there are people out there who dedicate their efforts to solving them without getting overwhelmed.  So maybe not all of us are a part of the political sphere. However, taking initiative and a sense of responsibility when smaller, everyday obstacles happen can create better relationships within one’s community.  For even a normal person, great problem solving skills for any situation can begin with understanding what leads to escalation in a potential conflict, and how to de-escalate tensions.

But how exactly do we know when we are seeing a conflict or one potentially?  Strangely enough for most of us we tend to experience the need for this skill, at first, when we are children.  How many of you can remember in your childhood, a few family members who seemed to have more than just a disagreement; or a team of sport players who wanted to take more time being defensive and feeling threatened, than practicing when they lost a game?

Many conflicts can not be resolved right away.  Sometimes it will take patience and empathy, on your part, to understand the parties involved.

What does this mean and why is it important?  Take for instance, difficulties that arise between domestic house cats that are new roommates.  At first, it is very frustrating for most humans to understand why the involved felines may perceive a threat.  But then, if you empathize with each cat’s individual personality, and try to perceive the pain and fears they’ve come across in their lifespans, then it would be clear to see that there are trust issues that will come with respecting each other over time.  And even then, the cats may not form a close relationship– that is something entirely up to them as individuals.

Now, take every instance in the last paragraph where “cat” was used, and replace it with the word “person.”  This is one of the building blocks to understanding what conflict is.

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