Table of contents:

Creative Conflict. 8 Ways To Quarrel Correctly - Research, Relationships, Self Development
Creative Conflict. 8 Ways To Quarrel Correctly - Research, Relationships, Self Development

Video: Creative Conflict. 8 Ways To Quarrel Correctly - Research, Relationships, Self Development

Video: Creative Conflict. 8 Ways To Quarrel Correctly - Research, Relationships, Self Development
Video: 14 Effective Conflict Resolution Techniques 2023, March

In the mid-1990s, a study was carried out in New York, the reason for which was sad statistics. According to her, it was in this American city that there was the largest number of family conflicts that ended in murder or grievous bodily harm

In New York, each of the districts has its own "face", significantly differing in ethnic composition, the level of well-being of residents, and the comfort of the living environment. The researchers found that the statistics of fatal family conflicts varied significantly from area to area.

The minimum number of fatal conflicts was identified by researchers in the so-called "Russian families" (the name is conditional - it was about the inhabitants of Brighton Beach). The maximum number of conflicts, oddly enough, was found not in some criminal Harlem, but in prestigious areas like Queens, among the "WASP families". WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) literally indicates racial and religious affiliation: "a white (Caucasian) Protestant of Anglo-Saxon origin." But WASP is often used in a figurative sense as "100% American", a representative of the elite sectors of society.

The differences found puzzled the researchers because they did not lend themselves well to logical explanation. It would seem that most of all fatal conflicts should be in disadvantaged areas of the city, where the standard of living and the most criminal environment. But everything turned out to be exactly the opposite - most of all domestic violence was in prosperous areas. But "little Odessa" (Brighton Beach) is still one of the poorest areas of New York. In the nineties, the standard of living there was even lower, but there was almost no violence. How can these differences be explained?

Scientists began to "dig deeper" and discovered the following: it turns out that the frequency of family quarrels in "Russian" families and in "WASP-families" was almost equal. But the style of behavior of the spouses in the conflict was significantly different. In "Russian" families, the conflict ended with calming down, reconciliation of the parties and, ultimately, strengthening family (and love) relationships. In "WASP families" the escalation of the conflict increased to the "boiling point" when emotions got out of control and one of the family members grabbed a weapon. But even if the conflict did not end in bloodshed, there was no reconciliation of the parties (or it was formal) and the relationship soon fell apart.

It turns out that in “WASP-families” the conflict was destructive, and in “Russian” families it was creating relationships. And the researchers focused on identifying specific differences: what exactly do different families do differently during conflict? What specific words, gestures, actions, deeds, reactions intensify the conflict, and what make it constructive?

Various quarrels

  1. In “Russian” families, during the conflict, the spouses continued to refer to each other by their first names (as they usually did). In the "WASP-families", as the conflict developed, they quickly switched to nicknames, first mocking, and then offensive.
  2. Any conflict has a reason and a reason. They can be objective ("this is how the circumstances developed", "unlucky", "life is like that", "this is an accidental mistake"), or responsibility for the pretext / reason is attributed to one of the participants in the conflict ("all because of you!"). There is a clear pattern: the more persistently one of the parties to the conflict tries to accuse the other that it is he (and only he!) Who is the cause (or created a pretext for) the conflict, the higher the risk that the conversation will turn into violence.
  3. In “Russian” families, the conflicting people noticed and commented on each other’s specific behavior, but they never generalized and did not “become personal”. A typical remark in a “Russian” family: “You are now speaking loudly, you are shouting. I can hear you perfectly, you can speak more quietly. " In the WASP family it would sound something like: “What are you yelling! You always just have to yell, you boorish bastard! Shut up!" Please note that the first version uses a more neutral vocabulary (loudly, shouting), while the second version uses more emotional words (“yell”, “yell”, “shut up”). In the first example there is no "transition to personalities", in the second example there is ("boorish bastard").
  4. The most dangerous "personal transition" occurs when the discussion goes beyond the conflict. That is, instead of discussing what is happening “here and now,” the participants begin to recall all the bad things that happened in their relationship in the past (“there and then”). As a rule, close people know each other well enough, including the "pain points" in the self-concept of their partner. Each of us has had failures in life; each of us has qualities that we, to put it mildly, are not proud of. It turned out that even during the hottest swearing in "Russian" families, the conflicting ones are very careful about each other's "pain points" and do not try to make the interlocutor more painful by recalling past "mistakes". In "WASP-families" partners very quickly reminded each other of past failures,trying to step on each other's "favorite calluses" as much as possible.
  5. Obviously, conflict is an emotional clash where the intensity of passions can grow indefinitely. But, as it turned out, the emotional dynamics of the conflict in “Russian” families and “WASP-families” were different. In "Russian" families, the expression of negative emotions was open and reached its maximum strength almost immediately. At the very beginning of the conflict, the spouses began to shout loudly, intensively gesticulate, throw things, break dishes, etc. As the researchers noted, “it seemed as if these were actors who were tasked with quickly portraying a family quarrel - and they immediately rushed to act out this drama with full force. " In “WASP-families” the dynamics were completely different: at first the spouses tried to restrain their emotions as much as possible, trying to talk calmly. At the same time, they insulted each other, used emotional vocabulary,recalled past failures, etc. It is not surprising that after a while the mask of calmness flew off and a real emotional outburst occurred (and sometimes a real affect developing into violence). The result was the following: strong passions instantly flared up in "Russian" families; but the more intense the emotion, the more energy it takes up and the faster it exhausts itself. There is one more important detail: the violent emotional expression in the “Russian” families was directed “into the air,” but not at each other. Agree that there is a difference when we just smash a plate on the floor or when we throw this plate at our partner's head. In “WASP-families”, the opposite happened: first the spouses accumulated aggression, and then splashed it on each other. Researchers have even introduced such a concept as “targeting”. When we're angrywe can express this with different gestures. For example, you can simply "shake your hands" by lifting them up (this is an unaddressed, neutral way of expressing aggression), or you can poke your finger in your partner's chest or face (this is a targeted way of expressing aggression, which provokes a reciprocal aggression). The more “targeted” bodily signs of aggression (even without direct physical contact), the higher the risk of violence.
  6. In those families where the conflict escalated into physical violence (including fatal), unresolved conflicts existed for years. They were repeated many times (usually due to the same reasons / reasons) and each time ended in nothing. The spouses splashed aggression at each other, after which they crawled to their corners to lick their wounds. There was no constructive dialogue and no reasonable attempts to eliminate the causes of the conflict. Pain and resentment only accumulated until tragically resolved. In "Russian" families, after the spouses "shouted", "let off steam", they were able to reasonably discuss the cause of the conflict and work out some kind of common solution. Even if there was no energy left for discussion, they reached an agreement where and when (in a calmer atmosphere) they would certainly discuss the problem and find a solution. Therefore, although the frequency of quarrels in “Russian” families and “WASP-families” was the same, the causes of conflicts were significantly different: in “Russian” families they were different each time (and their elimination strengthened and developed relations), and in “WASP-families””They remained the same (which intensified the crisis in the relationship and destroyed them).

If you want family quarrels not to ruin your relationship, then during a conflict:

  1. Use your first name, don't use nicknames.
  2. Do not shift all responsibility for the conflict onto one person (the reasons are always more complicated, and responsibility for their elimination should be shared).
  3. Be objective! Talk about the specific actions or words of your partner, rather than labeling (generalized personality characteristics).
  4. Be mindful of your words, use calm (emotionally neutral) vocabulary.
  5. Solve the problem “here and now” (and do not go deep into memories of “all the bad things”).
  6. Respect the interlocutor, do not use confidential information against him that causes him emotional pain.
  7. Do not hesitate to express emotions, but do it "by" the interlocutor (without "targeted" gestures).
  8. No matter how the conflict unfolds, have the wisdom to take the next step - to find a joint solution on how to eliminate the cause of the conflict (or at least agree on when you will do it as soon as possible).

Popular by topic