Conflict Resolution Styles
We tend to develop one of four conflict resolution styles. Consider which one of the styles you most likely fit into?
- Denial or avoidance of the conflict. This approach emanates from the home that the problem will simply go away on its own. Unfortunately it usually doesn’t, so this is an ineffective approach.
- Giving in rather than confronting the conflict. This style is typically used by people who tend toward a passive approach. Sometimes these people are being martyrs, sometimes they are fearful, and sometimes they are seeking appreciation. This is an ineffective approach for several reasons. It is unfair, it does not generate creative solutions,and regular submission diminishes self-esteem and creates resentment and a sense of hopelessness.
- One person gets angry and blames the other person. It is as if this person is saying, “You’ve hurt me and I’m going to punish you back.” This conflict style leads to a stormy relationship in which each person must win at almost any price. This is an ineffective approach because it precludes all constructive resolution, is manipulative and unfair, and produces lasting hostility.
- Seeking an innovative, fair, optimal solution for both people. This is the approach adopted by people who want to create healthy relationships. People learn the skills required to control their angry and competitive feelings and their passive and aggressive impulses. They work to authentically find mutually acceptable solutions.