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© 1983, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This publication describes the differences between conflict and disagreement, and provides procedures for resolving them successfully.

How do you typically respond when you seriously disagree with someone? Do you...

1. get mad inside but keep quiet and give the other the "silent" treatment?

2. withdraw to a safe distance because you don't like to argue?

3. get angry, criticize, call names, use sarcasm or some other aggressive behavior?

4. give in; say "I guess you are right" with a big sigh, be submissive in order to avoid conflict.

5. deny or pretend that "everything is okay"--no conflict exists.

These are common, but usually unsuccessful, methods of coping with conflict between family members or friends, and in work settings.

Just because interpersonal conflict is common doesn't mean it has to be negative and destructive. We must understand when conflict occurs and avoid falling prey to some of its common myths and misconceptions.