Conflicts and How to Behave in Controversial Situations 

Who in the department is going on vacation next week, what to spend the family savings on, whether or not they just saw a good movie at the movies… The juxtaposition of different opinions happens in everyone’s life on a daily basis. It’s a normal pattern that can lead to arguments, messed up relationships, and a flurry of emotions.

Causes of Conflicts 

Conflict is a confrontation of points of view, worldviews, and, consequently, the people behind them. It happens in any sphere of activity: work, study, family. The main point is a clash between two people, a person and a group or collectives.

The prerequisites that lead to disagreements:

  1. Beliefs. Opposing views on politics, education, professional activities and other areas.
  2. Personality traits. Different temperaments, ingrained habits, typical methods of solving problems.
  3. Psychological problems. Accumulated discontent, negative emotions, thinking stereotypes, unprocessed complexes, lack of self-confidence.
  4. Norm-breaking. Going beyond what is allowed in any community causes tension and provokes retaliatory reactions. For example, you pals are against gambling, but you cannot live without an online casino in Canada.

The Main Types of Confrontations

Interpersonal Conflict

The most common type, which involves two people with their own individual views and positions. For example, there may be two employees, one of whom is comfortable in a cool room and always opens a window, while the other is constantly freezing. On this ground is played by a confrontation, and sometimes a local scandal.

Man and Group

A careless truant student who ruins his or her progress, a family member against whom the rest of the household “befriends”, or a self-promoting boss, a tyrant who irritates the entire team.

Intergroup Confrontations

A common example is departmental animosity in an organization over funding or “chronic” animosity between two families over an old incident, the essence of which few people remember anymore.

Keep in mind that conflict as such is not something bad, something to be avoided at all costs. Firstly, it’s unrealistic and the contradictions will sooner or later make themselves felt anyway. Secondly, it’s more effective to transfer confrontation into a constructive channel. Then stumbling blocks cease to be a nuisance and become points of growth for all parties to the dispute. The most important thing is to see your opponent not as a sworn enemy but as a collaborating party. Then the result of discord is the emergence of experience of the resolution of difficult cases, improvement of social ties, and sometimes new acquaintances.

How to Resolve Disagreements

There are many reasons that lead to the clarification of relationships, because people enter into them in different, sometimes unique situations. But you can follow the general rules: they will allow you to constructively and respectfully treat the person you are talking to and help you get mutual benefits.


It is important to let the person express himself, to state his point of view, to reveal his position on the issue of concern (even just to speak out is useful). If you express their worries and needs in words, it’s easier for both you and the other person to understand what is important and common in the discussion.


Try to show at least a modicum of participation. Demonstrating that you care will not pass by the other side, and is more likely to facilitate communication.


Finding mutual agreement is the most constructive way to resolve conflict. Each of the participants gets what they want (or part of it), it allows you to see mutual progress and understand the possibility of achieving their goals. Through force and resistance to push through only your line – not a very reasonable approach, undermining the principle of balance. Look for common interests and common ground, which will be the foundation of cooperation.

Dropping the Blame Game

Don’t look for blame, even if the person did commit a reckless act. “You can’t take back what has been done,” and in the context of a dispute it is more effective to find solutions, rather than pointing out mistakes made out of youth or inexperience.


Show understanding of your position and a willingness to defend it. In this way you define the boundaries, the core that is fundamentally important.

Conflicts are an integral part of any communication, any sphere of relations. However, you should not overestimate your power concerning the resolution of such incidents. Not every disagreement can and should be resolved. Sometimes it is easier to leave it as it is, especially if it is not of vital importance. But if a dispute has arisen and some action is needed, approaching the issue constructively is the best option. In this way, the probability of a positive result will increase; in addition, you will save nerves.

Back to top button