Analysis of a Conflict
Various conflicts arise among individuals and organizations in various contexts, including at the workplace and at home. Conflict refers to a clash between individuals arising out of a difference in thought processes, attitudes, understanding, interests, and perceptions (Koestenbaum, 2001). A conflict results in heated arguments, loss of harmony and peace, and often, war. Best friends can become worst enemies as a result of a conflict. The relationship awareness theory is a self-learning model for effectively and accurately understanding and inferring a behavior (Porter, 1996). The theory gives individuals the awareness and skills they need to build more effective personal and professional relationships.
My friend called me, and she was quite angry that she had waited for more than 3 hours for a reply from me, yet she could see that I was online the entire time. Though I had not ignored her, I anticipated that a conflict would arise. Deci et al. (1995) explained that from someone’s approach you can anticipate if a conflict is about to brew. I was preoccupied with other tasks online and had not seen the notification. After viewing the notification, I psychologically prepared to explain to her that I had not deliberately failed to respond to her. Since we had an excellent relationship, I knew that her ranting was not a witch-hunt of any sort. I prevented the conflict from escalating by apologizing before explaining why I had not replied to the message that she had sent. I acknowledged that I understood why she was pissed off, and that if I were in her shoes, I would have probably reacted similarly.
I identified that insecurities catalyzed the conflict, and this formed the primary cause of her snapping. She felt that I was drifting away from her, and that the bond between us was slowly fading away. Notably, this was propelled by the fact that I was developing other hobbies outside the ones that we mutually shared. Freud and Brill (1995) analyse that behavioral change can tell if someone is growing out of certain habits like friendships. Consequently, she blew minor arguments out of proportion. She was interested in safeguarding the relationship at the expense of my need for some personal time. At the same time, I was interested in being heard and having other friends and activities outside our friendship. This would mean reduced talk time and the time we spent together. However, this did not imply that our relationship had faded in any way.
We managed the conflict by discussing what we genuinely felt about each other recently. I made her aware that I would appreciate having some ‘alone’ time and engaging in some activities alone. She understood my concern. She also noted that she would know if I started showing more concern to our relationship as I did before, even if I needed to create and develop other friendships. We resolved that we would always give each other the benefit of the doubt before lashing out. In resolving conflicts, the involved parties must attempt to reach a compromise to avoid the escalation of disagreement (Maccoby, 1995). I determined that I would regularly remind her that she means a lot to me. We resolved that our friendship is more significant than any differences that we may encounter.
Motivational Value Systems That I Used in the Course of the Conflict
I was open and responsive to my friend’s needs, and thus, we brainstormed to help her feel better. I was considerate and understood that all she wanted was the same attention I gave her since we became friends. I reassured her of my undying loyalty to her and our friendship and that I would not let anything come between us.
I was friendly even when she was lashing out at me. I listened to her and tried to understand the cause of her anger. I was sensitive to her feelings, and hence, I avoided mocking her or becoming dismissive while she talked. I never got defensive. I owned up to the mistake I had caused and explained to her why it happened.
Motivational Value Systems That She Used
She was objective and listed all the instances that she felt that I was a snob towards her. All of her illustrations made sense and were factual. She indicated that she had never snubbed me at any point in our friendship. Porter (2007) analyses how leaders are always guided by loyalty, in this case my friend was so particular on how I should reciprocate the loyalty that she shows me. She was precise about what she expected from me and our friendship. She insisted on me assuring her that I was serious about the friendship as she was. She wanted order going forward and also clear communication whenever I wanted some ‘alone’ time.
She provided rational leadership as she highlighted the importance of our friendship and loyalty towards each other. Porter (1996) agrees with the fact that great leaders always have gret personal relationship with people close to them. She was decisive after she knew that I did not ignore her deliberately. She was clear that we should work on our friendship to keep it alive. She was all for fairness as she also acknowledged that she was wrong not to have given me the benefit of the doubt. She challenged my concerns thoughtfully.
My friend sought to ensure that our friendship was preserved. She was lashing out so that I would see that we were not in the right place at the moment in our friendship. I am sure she was not having a malicious attack towards me. Understanding her helped us in amicably resolving the conflict. Her anger was fuelled by her concern of our fading friendship. She shifted from green to Red-Green. She initially wanted assurance from me that I valued the friendship; then, as the conflict escalated, she suggested ways that would help us preserve our friendship. Courtain and Glowacz (2019) show that logic can make people change their stance. Consequently, I shifted from Hub to Blue. Initially, I was curious to know what she felt and thought, and as the conflict escalated, I became responsive to her ideas regarding how we should progress in sustaining our friendship.
Talking and listening to each other would have helped us avoid the conflict completely. We would have gotten to understand that we both mean well for each other. Konrad, Wiek, & Barth (2020) highlight that failure to listen is the cause of most conflicts between people. We resolved the conflict by each one of us taking responsibility for their part in the conflict.
Courtain, A., & Glowacz, F. (2019). Youth’s conflict resolution strategies in their dating relationships. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 48(2), 256-268.
Deci, E. L., & Flaste, R. (1995). Why we do what we do: The dynamics of personal autonomy. GP Putnam’s Sons.
Freud, S., & Brill, A. A. (1995). The essential writings of Sigmund Freud (Modern Library ed.). New York: Modern Library.
Koestenbaum, P. (2001). Freedom and Accountability at Work, Applying Philosophic Insight to the Real World.
Konrad, T., Wiek, A., & Barth, M. (2020). Embracing conflicts for interpersonal competence development in project-based sustainability courses. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education.
Maccoby, M. (1995). Why work?: Motivating the new workforce. Miles River Press.
Maccoby, M. (2007). The leaders we need: And what makes us follow. Harvard Business Press.
Porter, E. H. (1996). On the development of relationship awareness theory: A personal note. Group & Organization Studies, 1(3), 302-309.