How Would a Person Deal Negatively with Conflict & its Impacts

Conflicts are an integral part of human interactions, occurring in various contexts from personal relationships to professional environments. While conflict is unavoidable, how individuals respond to it can significantly influence the outcome. Negative responses to conflict often exacerbate the situation, leading to detrimental effects on relationships and personal well-being. This article explores how people deal negatively with conflict and the implications of such responses.

How Would a Person Deal Negatively with Conflict?

Negative conflict responses typically involve behaviors and attitudes that escalate the situation rather than lead to its resolution. These include aggression, avoidance, and hostility. Each of these responses can intensify the conflict and create additional problems.

1. Aggression in Conflict

Aggressive responses, such as yelling or physical confrontations, tend to intensify conflicts. This approach often leads to a cycle of aggression, where each party escalates their responses, making resolution more challenging.

2. Avoiding Conflict

Avoidance might seem like an easy way out, but it often leads to unresolved issues. Ignoring a conflict does not make it disappear; instead, it can fester and resurface later, often in more severe forms.

3. Hostility and Its Repercussions

Hostile attitudes, whether through passive-aggressive behavior or outright antagonism, can provoke similar responses from others. This mutual hostility can create an environment of continuous conflict and tension.

Unhealthy Reactions and Their Impact

Unhealthy reactions to conflict, such as explosive anger, blaming others, and shutting down communication, can cause significant harm. These reactions often stem from deeply rooted emotional patterns and require conscious effort to change.

Consequences of Negative Conflict Handling

  • Negative conflict resolution can lead to emotional distress, strained relationships, and even adverse health effects.
  • In the long term, it can affect one’s ability to form and maintain healthy relationships.

Strategies for Healthy Conflict Management

Effective conflict management involves self-awareness, rational thinking, and empathy. Approaching conflicts with a mindset geared towards understanding and resolution can lead to more positive outcomes.

1. Managing Emotions

Recognizing and managing one’s emotions is crucial. This involves understanding the impact of emotions on behavior and finding constructive ways to express them.

2. Practicing Empathy

Empathy is a powerful tool in conflict resolution. Understanding the other person’s perspective can lead to more compassionate and effective problem-solving.

3. Identifying and Overcoming Conflict Avoidance

  • Recognizing signs of conflict avoidance is the first step toward addressing it.
  • Assertive communication and proactive conflict management strategies can help overcome this tendency.

4. Open Communication: The Foundation of Healthy Relationships

  • Open and honest communication is key to resolving conflicts and building trust in relationships.
  • It involves expressing needs and desires clearly and listening to the other person’s perspective.

5. Seeking Help for Conflict Resolution

Professional guidance can be beneficial in learning effective conflict resolution strategies. Therapists or counselors can provide tools and techniques for managing conflicts constructively.

Conflict in the Workplace: A Closer Look

In professional settings, how one handles conflict is critical. Emotional intelligence, including the ability to manage one’s emotions and understand those of others, plays a significant role in conflict resolution. Here are some key aspects to consider in the workplace:

1. Fostering Professional Relationships

Establishing mutual understanding and respect in professional relationships is essential. Clear communication about roles, responsibilities, and boundaries helps in preempting potential conflicts.

2. Communication: The Key to Resolution

Lack of communication is a common root of conflict. Effective communication involves not only speaking up but also actively listening and understanding the perspectives of others.

3. The Power of Active Listening

Active listening goes beyond hearing words; it involves interpreting non-verbal cues and empathizing with the speaker, fostering a more cooperative environment.

4. Objectivity Over Subjectivity

In a workplace, responding objectively to conflicts, and focusing on behaviors rather than personal attributes, is crucial for maintaining professionalism.

5. Dealing with Recurring Conflicts

Identifying patterns of conflict and addressing them systematically can prevent future occurrences and create a more harmonious workplace.


Dealing with conflict negatively can have far-reaching consequences, affecting both personal and professional relationships. Adopting a patient, collaborative approach and cultivating emotional intelligence are key to resolving conflicts effectively. Understanding and practicing healthy conflict resolution skills is an invaluable asset in all areas of life.