Gini Nelson\’s Engaging Conflicts

September 14, 2006

Why We Get Stuck In Conflict

Kenneth Cloke’s new book, The Crossroads of Conflict: A Journey Into the Heart Of Dispute Resolution, is a book by an experienced  mediator about many things, including his conclusions after many years of a rich and varied practice. Ken will be interviewed this fall and early winter in Engaging Conflicts Today, and has given permission to excerpt portions of his book here. Here’s his list of explanations why we get stuck in conflict:

Ten Reasons Why We Get Stuck in Conflict:

1.         Conflict defines us and gives our lives meaning.

2.         Conflict gives us energy.

3.         Conflict ennobles our misery.

4.         Conflict safeguards our personal space

5.         Conflict creates intimacy (even if it is only the transient, negative intimacy of fear, rage, attachment and loss).

6.         Conflict camouflages our weaknesses.

7.         Conflict powerfully communicates what we honestly feel (even while it may increase stress and emotional suffering in others).

8.         Conflict gets results (it forces others to heed us).

9.         Conflict makes us feel righteous (by encouraging us to believe we are opposing evil behaviors and rewarding those that are good).

10.       Conflict prompts change (which feels better than impasses and stagnation).

Ken’s book can be purchased directly from his publisher, Janis Publications, here:

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