Conflict is defined as a disagreement or difference of opinion. It can also be defined as a form of competition in which one person’s behaviors are directed at preventing something or at interfering with or harming the other individual. Before discussing conflict in the classroom, I thought conflict was the nail in the coffin to most relationships. However, while I don’t necessarily like many forms of conflict I believe that conflict is an essential part of communication. Conflict never deserves to be trampled over simply because the people involved in conflict might be uncomfortable.
Devito makes a point to readers that people are different. Imagining that conflict simply disappears would mean that humans are mindless drones that are going around in unaware repetition. I have learned one great thing in studying conflict’s relationship with interpersonal communication. Avoiding conflict by not communicating only allows a problem to persist without a solution. Today, I spoke with my cousin Daniel and he asked me how I was getting along. I told him I was fine. He then asked: Would you like to make some money? I was thrown off-guard by the question. In haste, I responded dismissively.
My reply was: “You are always thinking about money, and when you aren’t thinking about money you’re thinking about sex. I said to him that he should check his priorities.”
In the middle of my rant, he thought that I may be upset.
He patiently reminded me of the importance of keeping conversation in appropriate context. Today, I learned firsthand with him that I need to understand and realize that when I debate, the debate should be in line with the subject of the conversation. It’s ineffective to try and make a point when the facts are unknown. Conflict can only make us stronger if we direct it toward absolution. I estimate that most bouts of conflict are just misdirected anger that is not centered around a clear, concise focus.
In the end, addressing conflict appropriately can work for the good of many situations. We must be sure that we do not attack someone’s character or sense of being when trying to fix a problem, for this is counter-intuitive and will drive a wedge between the actual problem and the steps to resolving it.