The Root Cause of Conflicts: What Is It and What To Do?

It is often enough that people get into discomfort, quarrels, arguments, fights and wars . Yet it is not often enough that people stop to consider why do they even go into these in the first place.

Conflicts, as a result, happen in the community, our working life, during sales and negotiation, in studies, in our personal, private relationships and even within our internal self and ego.

These occurrence of conflicts cause great depths and degree of disharmony, undue stress and unease in our lives, often a disruption to our original life paths. (Are conflicts necessary? It’s possible to be necessary and does have its merits. We’ll leave this to our future discussion.)

But first let’s consider why do conflicts occur?

The root cause of conflicts is the clash of values (and beliefs).

Values, in layman’s term, refers to things, notions and subjects that we hold dear to our hearts and matter to us. They are critically important, gets top priority and have high worth to our life meaning and personal existence as human beings. Examples: love, survival, responsibility, helping others, savings, honesty, self-protection, commitment, integrity, happiness, etc.

Beliefs are statements of life and living (SoLL) we have come to accept as our own version of truth as a result of our values. Examples of beliefs: (you don’t have to accept these, they are just examples.)

We must put happiness before money versus money must be above-all.

Honest is the best policy versus be honest only if it benefits myself.

Family must come before career versus career before family.

There are so many other beliefs and values in our lives. I am sure you can come out with a number of examples of your own.

Hence, as you can see, its not always the case where people will agree with each other. Meaning? People don’t always see eye to eye with you.

Understand that these differences in values and beliefs in thinking and outlook of life arise from differences in upbringing, culture, beliefs and values, authority figures, inherent characteristics, personality traits, media exposure, life experiences, family, friends, loved ones (FFL), societal norms and mores, map of the world, social interpretation and symbolism as well as other variables.

When our own internal values and beliefs are being challenged, doubted or put to test, we experience an inner discomfort and unease. It accumulates to a point where we choose to unleash them and express these pent-up pressure in the form of frustrations and fury. Left unchecked, they escalate into observable arguments, debates, fights and wars.

However the ironic thing about war is that “it does not determines who is right, it determines who is left.” (Get the pun?)

Therefore, even if you win a quarrel, it does not always mean you are right, it simply means you are better at arguing. It also does not win you a friend.

What we can really do, is to be in a state of objectivity, discuss rationally and accept differences generously.

(Bare in mind, we are not condoning actions that cause grievous harm to others and those with malicious intent. As citizens of the world, those are truly values that have crossed the line.)

In order to work better towards resolution of conflict, certain fundamental premises must first be stated and accepted:

Basic Premise 1: People’s thinking and outlook can be different from each other.

Basic Premise 2: Hence our values and beliefs are different.

Basic Premise 3: Conflicts can happen but not necessary must happen.

Next, we work on the follow steps:

Step 1. Always Agree to Disagree first.

Step 2. Look for Areas of Acceptance, Appreciation or Agreement. (AoAAA)

Step 3. Change Perspective or Paradigm (CPP) to grow.

Step 4. Express our AAA for each other amicably. (Ways include saying thank you, smile, hugs, treat each other to drinks, sending a simple gift, or simply taking a break from arguing)

Step 5. Constantly expand your life learning to extend your areas of AAA.

Step 6. Appreciate life, its magic and mysteries.

Work these steps out to improve your relationships with yourself and others.

Be well to excel.

Explore posts in the same categories: Beliefs and Values, Conflict Management, Excel Beyond Excellence, Living Life, Management, Negotiation Dynamics, Perspectives, Reflection and Thoughts, Relationship Dynamics, Sales Success, Working Wellness

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