Assessing Your Conflict Style
Describe two conflicts you have been in that did not have a successful resolution for you. Identify your conflict style in each, and then describe what you could have done differently in this conflict. 25pts each** 26
Conflict 1 Description: 5pts
I stay with my elder sister in the same apartment. We have been staying together for the past three years. Recently, my laptop broke down, and since I had so many school assignments and projects to do, I had to use hers in her absence; I knew she would not allow me to use it because I had destroyed the laptop she had before she purchased that. I had made plans to fix my laptop for some time, and due to the complexities of the damage, I had to procure several new items first. From then, I would use her laptop when she was away, and this happened for four weeks then; finally, I got caught. I was doing dishes in the kitchen and mistakenly forgot them on the kitchen table, which had some splash of water. I was used to her coming back to the house late, and on that day, she arrived 2 hours before her usual arrival time, I didn’t have time to make things right and fix all the possible messes, so I just waited for her to pour out her anger on me. She started with complaints about wanting to destroy her newly purchased laptop like I did with mine and her previous one. I was disgusted with how she said I wanted to destroy her laptop because that was entirely not my intention. I immediately switched off her laptop, returned it in her laptop bag, and told her I would never want to use anything she owned again. This made the situation worse, and after some time, she said I was rude to her and demanded an apology from me for two reasons, using her laptop without her permission and being rude one her. With my ego too high, I did not apologize, and from then we had a poor relationship for some time; and also, I was unable to get my school work done on time.
Conflict Style: 3pts: Competing style
This style involves one person cheering on their goals and mission at the expense of another person’s interests and desires.
I had destroyed her previous laptop, and this time too, I did not mind where I placed it also. The kitchen table was a risky place for it to be kept because it could be easily damaged, but on confrontation, I did not mind where I placed it after getting my assignment and projects done. All I cared for, is to finish my assignments and not the safety of her laptop.
What would you have done differently? 5pts
At that point, I would
Listen carefully about my sister’s view on the cause of the issue, whether using her laptop or placing it on the kitchen table.
Apologize for not asking for her laptop before using it and placing it in a place she considered unsafe.
Remain calm during the argument since escalating emotions made me talk rudely, which was not helpful at last.
Validate that she was right to feel how she felt, and this would make her feel understood hence building a good relationship.
End the uncomfortable situation so that we remain on good terms, here we did not get to resolve the conflict and a poor relationship with her chipped in for some time.
Conflict 2 Description: 5pts
I have a friend named Sky. Since childhood, we grew up together and had so many childhood memories together also. We had the same likes and dislikes, attended the same school, class, and have lived in the same estate ever since. Growing up, we were inseparable, and I would always confide in her most of my secrets and opportunities. She knew about my father’s state of alcoholism and also attended many rehabilitation centers. I would always confide in her about how my father has been causing disturbance to the neighborhood, and sometimes she would witness the drama he caused. We had a minor misunderstanding in school; she borrowed my water bottle, which I was bought as a Christmas present, and lost it; I was so disturbed and decided we should part ways as friends. I tried to make new friends, but I was unable to feel how free I felt with Sky. Sky felt jealous and started telling my friends about how irresponsible my dad was, narrating to them about all the drama he caused, which broke me completely. This is because first, I had lost a friend already, and second my dad’s dirty laundry was out there for everyone to hear. She also let out all the secrets we shared, and after all these, I did not want to confront the issue since I felt that it would bring more trouble. I avoided her and asked my mother to transfer me from our school, and we did not get to talk anymore. I was relieved, but on thoughts that small issues made us part, which meant parting with all the memories and friendship took a toll on me for a while.
Conflict Style: 3pt: Avoiding style
In this style, the concerns of both parties are not addressed hence not satisfied. Confrontations are avoided hence sidestepping conversations.
I refrained from any confrontations and kept all the bitterness to myself, and this did not help solve the issue; instead made us part ways.
What would you have done differently? 5pts
I would have:
Confronted the issue immediately to avoid a small issue leading to long-time consequences.
Facilitated the conversation, creating a forum for each party to verbalize their differences to address the issue early enough.
Prioritized the area of conflict, which was the lost water bottle, and asked her to purchase a new one; this would have sorted the issue.
Listed the possible solution at hand that would suit everyone’s interest at that time and ensures the issue is settled.
Expressed my needs clearly; this would have stopped the escalation of emotions and calmed the disagreement timely.