Conflict is more than just an argument that manifest itself through yelling and behavior it is a perception that there is something wrong and needs to be fixed or explained. There are many different paths that conflict can take and it all depends on the person and situation. The following is an analysis of a conflict in my own life and how it came to be, the different perceptions involved, and the path we choose to take as the conflict went on.
I live with my mother, older sister and her son, my nephew. My sister works a lot but, unfortunately, can not afford daycare leaving the babysitting up to me and my mother. Basically, we have watched him the whole summer and while at first it was fine but as the days kept getting piled on our agitation just kept simmering beneath the surface (at her not my nephew). Our personal feelings, me and mother discussed what we were feeling at length, felt like we were being taken advantage of. What we felt was being taken from us was a “perceived scarce resource” (Hocker & Wilmot 19) and the resource that we felt “as scarce are power and self-esteem” (Hocker & Wilmot 19). It seemed like my sister held all the power here and we were simply there to be used as free babysitters and that took a damaging toll on our self-esteem. In the book Interpersonal Conflict, it mentioned scenarios in which people say things that reflect the issue of power and self-esteem and when I read this scenario, “I won 't cover for her if she asks me again. She can find someone else to work the night shift when her kids get sick. (I feel taken advantage of. She only pays attention to me when she needs a favor.)” (qtd. Hocker & Wilmot 20) it sounded eerily similar to what we were going through...
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...aken advantage of my sister saw as us coming to resent her for relying on us. When we choose not to speak about what was bothering us it only allowed the conflict to fester and manifest itself in the form of an “avoidance spiral” (Hocker & Wilmot 32). In the long run we should have spoken sooner about what the issue was instead of remaining silent because as Hocker and Wilmot maintains, “When conflicts remain muddled and unclear, they cannot be resolved, or solved a different way” (13). Perception plays a huge role in how conflict comes up and is varied for each individual based on many factors in one 's life. Overall conflict is a made from a perceived threat to one 's own goals and can lead to many different behavioral paths depending on the people involved. Action to resolve the conflict should be taken or there is a risk to permanently damaging a relationship.
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