Conflict can be any situation where a person is not comfortable. This can include conflict with others, conflict with oneself, with society, nature etc. It can be just a feeling or it can progress to arguments, anger and even violence. Whatever theconflict may be, according to research by Thomas and Kilmann in 1976 there are five basic ways of dealing with conflict.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with conflict. Some do everything they can to avoid it and others like to thrash it out. With girl/boy relationships there will often be one who wants to avoid dealing with an issue and one who is desperate to talk and resolve it. This can be a problem, as often the person trying to avoid conflict will shy further and further away and, if pushed too far, can become defensive or passive aggressive. This can sometimes be just as damaging as aggression, but in a subtle way.
Conflict is often fuelled by fear, whether fear of something that is not known or understood, or fear of humiliation or physical or emotional pain. Fear can get us into bad situations, but fear can also be the best thing to get us out.
For example, a person who carries a knife carries it out of fear of not being able to defend themselves if they were attacked. But a person who discovers that they are more likely to be stabbed if they are carrying a knife might then choose not to carry one, as they don't want to carry a weapon that others can then use against them.
Weapons such as knives are occasionally used in conflict, they wound and leave scars and even kill. But our words can cut deep, our actions can sabotage and our unwillingness to compromise can destroy another person's confidence and self esteem. Usually we don't mean to hurt people, but instead to stop ourselves from becoming the victim. This behaviour eventually will lead to us being more likely to be hurt in the long term as others will not trust us.