The subtle art of conflict resolution

If we can learn to handle conflict properly, we might find our relationships becoming stronger.

Published: 05th December 2021 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2021 06:35 PM   |  A+A-

Conflict, disagreement, fight

Representational image of conflict.

The war of Mahabharata caused enormous destruction. Almost everybody who fought on the side of the Kauravas and most warriors who fought on the side of the Pandavas were killed. All hundred of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari’s sons were killed. This made Gandhari very sad. She told Sri Krishna that the Kauravas and Pandavas had enmity towards each other in their hearts but Sri Krishna could have pacified them. He had a large army and was capable of convincing both Kauravas and Pandavas to not fight. She blamed Sri Krishna for not doing so.

Is it true that Sri Krishna could have stopped the war if he wanted to? If so, why did he not? Sri Krishna performed many miraculous deeds during his life. He might have been able to stop the war. Is it possible that he saw no way other than conflict to resolve the issues between Kauravas and Pandavas? Does conflict become necessary sometimes?

Modern psychology believes that conflict is a part of everyday life. It happens between family members, friends, colleagues and strangers. Most people have negative views about conflict and try to avoid it at all costs. Many people have emotional responses to conflict which complicate matters. At the same time, psychology holds that certain types of conflicts are actually good for relationships. Ignoring an issue doesn’t always make it go away.

Sometimes, it may be better to resolve issues with a confrontation rather than let them linger on. When a young and jealous Duryodhana tried to kill Bhima using several evil schemes, the Pandavas complained to their uncle Vidura. Vidura advised them to keep quiet about it. He might have been trying to avoid conflict. However, the issues between Kauravas and Pandavas lingered on and finally led to the great war of Kurukshetra. Nobody can say for sure, but it is possible that if the childhood issues had been resolved through a conflict, there might not have been so much destruction later on.

Resolving issues through conflicts needs certain skills, if we are to avoid a conflict becoming just a venting session. First of all, one needs to make a judgement as to whether an issue can be best handled through avoidance or confrontation. If we decide to go for confrontation, we need to first keep our emotions in check. We need to approach the other person in a calm and confident manner and remember that we are confronting the issue, not the person. We may need to practice our responses and pep ourselves up by imagining the relief we would feel once the issue is resolved. If we can learn to handle conflict properly, we might find our relationships becoming stronger.


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