As we have already said, conflict is an unavoidable part of life. Some people resolve conflicts successfully, others less successfully and still others are beaten by the conflicts. Why is this the case? Researchers tell us that a number of factors account for this: the genetic makeup, health and intelligence of the person dealing with the conflict. But is it possible to learn to deal with conflict more effectively? Not only is it possible, experience suggests that it is essential. A new discipline – “conflictology” – has even been created. And so we will dedicate our second lesson to basic conflictology. That is, we will discuss the most important rules for successfully dealing with different types of conflict.
What is the cause of conflict? When one side wishes to prove its rightness by force. How does a conflict usually begin? With a provocation in which one person attempts to infuriate the other. There are different means of provocation: intimidation, offence, humiliation or baiting. You have to be on your guard. First of all, you must to be ready to fend off verbal attacks. How? You must let the aggressor unleash every last bit of his wrath; let him scream himself weak. In order to make sure he has truly finished, you must repeat aloud whatever it is that has made him angry. For example: “You mean you think I cheated you?!”. How does this help? When a person is shouting mad he becomes so upset that any contradiction will only incense him again and again. So no contradictions. Repeating his main point is a good strategy: suddenly the aggressor realises that you are not arguing with him and even that you’re on his side. This could really calm him down. Soon his aggression will begin to disappear. And here’s your chance. You should calmly utter a few phrases, for example: “Listen, I understand that you can’t do this for me. I’m not asking you to do it. I’m only asking for a trifle, nothing more.” It’s very important not to lose your cool (even though you’d really like to – after all you’re boiling with anger inside). It is just as important not to get personal. Don’t say, for example, “Who are you to talk to me like that?” or “Have you forgotten how I helped your brother out?”. Provocation is a typical cause of conflict, and so our discussion of provocation is very important. After all, under no circumstances should we get into conflicts with people we are in any way dependent upon – civil servants, police officers, doctors, etc. It is precisely these people who often deal with supplicants like us in an aggressive manner. After all, we ask them for help “as beggars” (even though they are doing their jobs). By begin aggressive, these people avoid dealing with us and free themselves from solving our problems. Thus everyone should prepare for meetings with people like this and learn to control the situation. After all, we come across them every day. Friends — learn to stand up for your rights, don’t give in to aggressors, boors and uncultured people! In the next issue we will continue our discussion of conflict and conflict avoidance.