ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Resolving Conflicts and Confrontations

Updated on July 13, 2015

Conflict and Confrontation

Contrary to popular belief, conflict isn't necessarily bad. In fact, it can be a great way to strengthen relationship and solve problems. Conflict can be a painful experience because it causes us to become angry, fearful and face emotions we would rather avoid. It brings out anger, fear, and anxiety.

Conflict is a natural part of our imperfect world. For example, we even see creative constructive conflict in the Scriptures. The apostle Paul wrote many letters specifically addressing conflict in the church; without conflict, those letters of the New Testament might never have been written.

Problems can be creatively solved by merging points of view of all sides. Both sides can learn to appreciate, understand, and accept others points of view. Relationships can be strengthened as we begin to understand how to manage conflict constructively.

When we generalize our problems, people have a hard time understanding. But when we become more specific, people have something concrete to deal with. Whether others agree with you or not, being specific can help manage the level of conflict.

Rules of Confrontation

The problem most have is knowing how to differentiate major issues from minor ones. Conflict sometimes gets out of control because some tend to make mountains out of mole hills. Life is too short to be stressing out over unimportant problems.

Furthermore, when focusing on small issues, real problems are left unattended. For example, a couple get argue when the husband fails to take out the garbage. The garbage is a minor issue, and is only a symptom of the real problem. The husband may feel his wife is bullying him around by nagging about the garbage. Could it be the real issue is he feels like he's being treated like a child? He may unconsciously see his wife assuming a parental role where he becomes the child.

On the other hand, the wife harps about garbage, but never talks about the real issue. Perhaps she feels her husband doesn't value her needs. Not only in the kitchen, but in other aspects of their marriage as well. The issue isn't garbage, but ignored feelings and unmet emotional needs. Until they get in touch with the real issues, they will continue arguing over minute problems.

Groups also often get bogged down in trivial matters. Churches, businesses, and families sometimes become involved in huge arguments. Why? Because there is a hidden issue everyone fails to recognize consciously. Or because there is an issue everyone knows about, but dreads to discuss. For such conflicts to be resolved, someone must have the wisdom to recognize the real issue.

When disputes arise, confront them as soon as possible. The longer one waits, the more unmanageable it becomes. Time tends to magnify problems. In times of conflict, people want to make a strong case in their defense. They dig up past problems and character issues and the real problem never gets resolved. Often, neither side can remember what started the argument.

When trying to solve a problem don't use words such as “always” and “never.” It would have been better to say something like, “I was disappointed with the way you cleaned the garage yesterday. You left a pile of trash in the corner.” These type of generalizations can cause defenses to go up. However, if you make specific statements, people are often able to be more objective by reflecting on the issue at hand. Keep conflicts focused on issues, not personalities. Avoid behavior or comments putting others on the defensive.

Some will mask their feelings with intellectual sounding theories: “I think you are projecting your hostilities on to my behavior.” Intellectualizing is a form of denial.

Expressing our true feelings means we make ourselves vulnerable to others.

Avoid Patronizing

One of the biggest mistakes people make in times of conflict is being seen as patronizing and condescending, whether intended or not. Put yourself in the other person's place. If you must confront another, imagine how you would feel in the same situation. Concentrate on what they are actually saying, while also making an attempt to understand their feelings. Seek to be responsive to others issues and emotions. When someone speaks, truly listen, don't just think about a point you want to formulate. Listen reflectively by mirroring back what another says to you, restating their feelings in your own words: “I hear you saying you are angry because you feel it wasn't right to frivolously spend money when our budget is so limited.” This serves two purposes:

  1. It helps others feel they have been heard.

  2. It helps you to understand others thoughts and feelings.

Of course, addressing problems should never be done publicly where it could cause someone embarrassment. Seek growth, not intimidation, where both sides can be winners. In any conflict, the only real winners are those who learned how to manage conflict. When we approach conflict with courage, honesty, and love for our adversary, conflict is no longer our enemy. It becomes our ally.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • dashingscorpio profile image


      3 years ago

      Voted up and useful!

      "The problem most have is knowing how to differentiate major issues from minor ones. Conflict sometimes gets out of control because some tend to make mountains out of mole hills." - Very true!

      Oftentimes the argument is not about the subject being discussed.

      It's also very common for a frustrated person to take things out on those who are close to them. Maybe there was an issue a work, someone cut them off on the road, or a best friend upset them and the moment they walked into the house they saw (whatever) and blew up!

      Under those circumstances it requires patience not to retaliate in anger and the person who initiated it has to learn to recognize what they're really upset about and express that to their mate immediately as oppose to allowing something their mate did or didn't do to cause an overkill moment.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)