Wilmot-Hocker Conflict Assessment Guide: Summary Notes

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Chapter 6-Emotions in Conflict
Emotions are states of feeling.  Emotions set actions “into motion”.  They change and transform.  Feelings are facts, not right or wrong, they just exist.  Individuals experience emotions in conflict.  Self protective emotions are associated with the right hemispheres of the brain while pro-social are left brain ruled; conflict resolution depends on overcoming raw emotion and developing left-brain functions.  Relationships are defined by the kinds of emotions expressed.  One emotion regulates other emotions.  People develop emotion-behavior patterns early in life and build on them. –       Verbal communication

–       Nonverbal communication
–       Physiological response
–       Thinking
•        Emotions
–       Both intrapersonal & interpersonal phenomena.  Layers of emotion may be felt at one time.  Intensity varies throughout the conflict process.  Experienced as good or bad (positive or negative). We are emotional when something is at stake for us (identity). –       Emotional events trigger responses

–       Feelings
•        Open, broaden, help people come toward each other for problem solving •        Shut us down, close us off, lead us to withdraw from the person or problem that arouses our feelings.  Avoidance seems an easy option Negative Emotions (Disgust, contempt, and revulsion emotions move to expel something noxious or repulsive).  (Shame and guilt play an important role in that when people break from socially accepted norms we lose face.) •        Anger – feeling connected to a perceived unfairness or injustice.  Remains or grows rather than lessens with unbounded expression. –       Can mobilize & energize (motivate)

–       Self responsibility calls for understanding anger to prevent harmful behavior •        Fear – key emotion in anxiety
–       Sometimes disables us
•        Anger-fear sequence – fear makes people experience vulnerability which turns into anger •        Sadness and depression
–       Sadness can strengthen social bonds (death of loved one-for example) –       Depression: sadness & anxiety; elevated feelings of anger –       May help in conflict resolution by moving us to find solutions to improve emotional state –       Gender differences

•        Women express sadness rather than anger-more skillful in emotional regulation •        Men express anger rather than sadness
Positive Emotions
•        Interest, joy, altruism, hope, sympathy, empathy –       Broaden a person’s mindset; encourages creative thinking; integrate new ideas, increase flexibility •        Interest in others brings us closer together to solve problems.  Leads to positive social relationships and ease with people. •        Effective conflict resolution draws on feelings about and for the other person and for oneself Emotions in Conflict Resolution

•        Productive conflict resolution-broaden an individual’s mindset, allowing one to build (meals and playing games engage feelings and cognitive abilities)  Interest in the other person and the problem and oneself brings us closer to the other so we can solve problems.  Interest sustains long-term constructive or creative endeavors. –       Work in the mid-range: low productivity occurs in unexpressed conflict or unrestrained conflict (continuum of conflict intensity, p. 207) or when people indulge in unrestrained emotions leading others to fight or flee. –       Moderate emotions in conflict bring many advantages –       Restraint of emotions, but not suppression, allows trust to build.  Venting to a friend is safe as venting to the one of which you are in conflicts may feel good but is unproductive. Emotions in Conflict-careful of stories they filter what we are able to think and feel. •        First Steps: warrior of the heart

–       Work with emotions
•         Awareness – have clarity
•         flexibility – of perspective
•         compassion – for ourselves and others makes us strong and expanded as conflict...
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