The anatomy of a conflict

Posted on: November 18, 2007

Conflicts often arise as a result of a human’s desire to meet an emotional need. The initial phase of argument/conflict may often constitute genuine statements however they sometimes descend into name calling and accusations that block any productive conflict resolution. The accusations deepen the pain and place those involved in the conflict in a defensive posture that is no longer aimed at the greater good of the relationship but a desire to protect self.

If those in a conflict sense that they are being targeted, belittled, disrespected or pushed aside the interaction most often ceases to be honest and open, instead the interaction becomes only about defending self and saving face. This kind of interaction never produces relationship building results.

Here is list of rules of engagement for conflict resolution that were adapted from the globally acclaimed anger management workbook by George Anderson-Gaining Control of Ourselves

· Stick to the subject

· Don’ t try to win—EVER

· No hitting below the belt

· No Abusive language

· No interrupting

Points to Remember

You have the right to say whatever you want, but you cannot do it in an abusive way, using intimidation or harsh language

In order for communication to be effective, both parties must listen to what the other person is saying and not merely convince the other of their position.

Good communication requires negotiation and compromise. If somebody has to win the argument then someone has to lose it, and you’ve lost good communication

No single issue is as important as your overall goal of remaining non-invasive and non-aggressive in your relationships

Carlos Todd, LPC, NCC, CAMF

President of the American Association of Anger Management Providers

Anger Management/Executive Coaching of Charlotte, North Carolina



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