Novel Approaches to Conflicts
What starts small could grow up beyond imagination and reach unexpected sizes. Conflicts of all types have this tendency. The snowballing effect of conflicts is practiced at all levels.
Let us take few examples:
A husband and wife enter into a discussion to suddenly develop into conflict and divorce.
A customer complaints about a product. The negative attitude of the service-provider infuriates the customer. Negative feelings now are met with negative responses. Two negative poles repel each other. The customer is even propelled further for the provider and decides to complain on social media. His complaint is tagged by many fellows to reach an unthinkable level. The service-provider loses trust, reputation and customers to run out of business.
These example are regrettably common. Let me use a simple scheme first to explain why.
Conflict leads to>>> destruction + irritation + hate + energy
Like an exothermic it tends to become spontaneous because not only heat is released, but also entropy is increased. Feelings of hatred and irritation are disorderly states. That heat is released and entropy is increasing means the conflict reaction has the tendency to propagate on its own. To intensify the negative feelings means that the “heat of conflict” shall only increase and that the resulting disorder shall increase. To stop this cycle we have the option of trapping the released heat and redirect it to new thinking, new ideas, new approaches and new mentalities to cope with the conflict.
As long as we look at a conflict negatively nothing shall change. Here is the challenge. Can we imagine conflict as a source of life and new beginning? Can we have creative inversion of our attitudes to negativity to view it as a bifurcation point from conflict to understanding? The answer is yes if we may first consider the making the energy output of the conflict into an energy input for understanding and even transformation. Like we transform energy from one type to another can we then transfer the energy of conflict to an energy of transformation? Gandhi did it with his salt strategy. He met the conflict of India’s independence by a peaceful strategy. Can we do the same?
The Source Mediation™ model recognizes that there are three basic ways in which we manifest our individual energy: through emotions with an emphasis on relationships, through actions and an emphasis on results and through creativity where the emphasis is on vision. I drew the model in the illustration below. I love this model for it gives a new thought. Instead of providing the energy to the reactants of a conflict, we could redirect it to prompt another reaction leading to peace.
We know the results of a conflict that are negative. We need to redirect our energy to playing negative feelings down so that the conflict reaction would slow down. We need to deactivate our negative emotions at the same time we need to widen our imagination to transform the end product to something better for both conflicting parties. If a wife and husband have a conflicting misunderstanding the husband could easily find a funny topic to both parties to divert the attention from the conflict to something that would make both parties laugh. Meanwhile, the heat of conflict cools down.
We can solve a conflict only if we are larger than it is. It is by being large and tolerant that we may think creatively to find a way to deal with a conflict creatively and productively. But we need first to transform ourselves.
Magdalena-Maria GROSU wrote a great comment on my previous buzz shared on LI. It is the brilliance of this comment that prompted me to write this buzz.
“Life cannot be lived without conflicts. A conflict could be compared to an icebreaker. A strong, armoured boat, capable of breaking the thick stratum of polar ice, needing to gather its strength in time and a lot of effort to unleash a genuine scandal... It takes days, weeks and even years in row for the discontent to accumulate so that bloody icebreaker... meaning a strong conflict, to be started. But once started, it will clean up everything in its way, and the waters, closed in under a thick layer of caution, will liberate themselves and flow once again. The communication channels will strongly vibrate, emotions will make big waves and many things that were stuck in the routine will sink. Anyway, as the ice is getting thinner, and waters are clearing out, man understands where he's been done wrong, and, of course, he rectifies that. In other words, he makes a progress!... Yet, some may say that it is better to avoid conflicts, by progressing anticipated. It can be done this way too, but you have to be careful never to catch... ice on shore. In cold times, it is obvious that it takes a conflict in order to warm up a little”.