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Jan 13

1/6 So why does Conflict Happen?

One of the main reasons conflict happens is the lack of Interpersonal Skills.

family or originFew people have been taught good communication skills. Very few people had parents who deliberately taught them good interpersonal relationship skills. We are not born with them but have to be taught them. Not many of us have learned good conflict resolution styles our family of origin, peer groups or their ethnic cultures.

Take a minute and Compare Priscilla and Mickey.

Family of Origin:

a. Priscilla – Born in Littleville, the youngest of 3 daughters, dad is a protective, supportive dad, whole family is emotionally distant from mum, a protective, supportive dad,
b. Mickey – born in Chicago, the first of 3 brothers, emotional distance between parents, a ‘do-it-all’ Mum, living at home, absent, workaholic dad,


a. Priscilla – lives on her own, well liked at work for her ‘team-work thinking’, conservative, possibilities of going into law as profession, a few close friends, romantic at heart, waiting patiently,
b. Mickey – the top of his team, he still enjoys all competitive sports, wants to climb mountains, skydiving, He is very independent, handsome, extrovert, outgoing. He is used to plenty of money with a huge following of friends, team members and media, hero of the town, often found at his parents’ home, watching their giant TV with lots of friends around.

Attitudes about money:

a. Priscilla – worked her way through University, keeps to a strict budget,
b. Mickey – used to plenty of money with a huge following of friends.

Previous relationships:

a. Priscilla – Mum’s comments about males has left her cautious, self-conscious and inhibited about her body and sex although she has the looks that do attract male attention, has mostly female input, has had very few male relationships,
b. Mickey – has had plenty of experience in the girlfriend area but none who stayed the distance, very independent, handsome, extrovert, outgoing, has mostly male input.

Attitudes about Conflict:

a. Priscilla – good debating skills and insists on ‘truth’ and resolving issues.
b. Mickey – mostly avoids conflict, has little interest in ‘getting to the bottom of things’,


a. Priscilla – once committed to Baptist church but has reacted to the ‘male-orientation’ thinking,
b. Mickey – nominal Catholic background,

So just a few differences? Wow! What fertile ground for conflict! So we need to follow their progress and how they learned to really communicate.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author


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