Responses to Conflict

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The four main responses to conflict are exit, neglect, loyalty, and response. Together these responses create a four-dimensional figure to illustrate active, constructive, destructive, and passive approaches humans take to deal with conflict. For the exit response, individuals completely withdrawal from certain situations. This withdrawal can be characterized by physical or psychological behavior. For example, whenever a conflict arises such as an argument between two individuals, he or she may completely leave or ignore an issue to avoid conflict. Since the exit response does not deal with the conflict head on it is placed in a destructive state. Being destructive can cause great damage to the situation of a conflict. Exit responses usually create lose-lose and win-lose outcomes. With lose-lose situations people anticipate there will be no “winner,” therefore, conflict overall is avoided. On the other hand, with win-lose situations, the nature of the win-lose serves as catalyst for the exit strategy. If someone is faced with a win-lose situation, they may exit physically or psychologically to avoid losing an argument. Another example of the exit response for this day in age is someone refusing to respond to text messages that are sent through cell phones. When two people are facing an argument, one may not respond to a text message for the purpose of avoiding conflict. In the neglect response, the magnitude of the conflict is reduced. Some individuals may point out that there really isn’t a big problem arising in order to somewhat ignore conflict. Neglect basically denies that there may be any conflict at all. Since neglect does not fully resolve conflict, it is classified as destructive. In addition, neglect also is passive in nature since it avoids discussions. However, neglect can often be useful in an argument since some conflicts need...
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