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I Am A Conflicted Person, But I Used These Strategies To Deal With It

by SATHI 6 months ago in how to
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Some psychological facts about what are conflicts, their types, and the most important part is how to deal with them.

I Am A Conflicted Person, But I Used These Strategies To Deal With It
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In today’s life, we all are dealing with different kinds of conflicts. Continuous feelings of these conflicts have some negative impact on our health — both mental and physical.

Sometimes, we can’t realize that we are actually dealing with conflicts — especially when someone is suffering from unconscious conflicts.

We all have some basic ideas about what conflict is. But we never focus on the reasons and how to deal with them. And we think the best option for us is just to avoid it, right? I used to think like that. But let me tell you something — these conflicts can be the reasons for your depression, anxiety, and frustration.

Unresolved desires and needs are the root cause of our emotional unhappiness.

So, would it be bad if we try to understand the types of conflicts, their causes, and how to deal with them?

Of course not, right? Let’s find out then!

What is conflict?

The word “Conflicts” is derived from the Latin word ‘conflictus’, meaning clash or collision. Let’s not define it from some psychological point of view.

Conflict is nothing but a painful emotional state which results from tension in the individuals of two or more opposing or contradictory desires or wishes.

What are the types of conflicts?

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According to psychologists if we identify their types it will be easier for us to deal with them.

  1. INTERPERSONAL CONFLICTS: Conflicts happening in our surroundings, between individuals like with our relatives, friends, and colleagues, can be considered as this type of conflict.
  2. INTRAPERSONAL CONFLICTS: This is more complex than interpersonal conflicts. Any conflicts that are going on inside our minds can be defined as internal conflicts or intrapersonal conflicts.

Sometimes we can’t identify the cause of such conflicts. According to psychologists, internal conflicts are —

a. Approach-approach conflict: Have you ever found yourself in a situation when you have to decide between two equally desirable events? Well, I think your answer would be yes. This kind of conflict is known as Approach-approach conflict.

A person gets two job offers, and both are desirable. Now he has to decide which one will be suitable — a problem arises.

b. Approach-avoidance conflict: well, this is the most common type of conflict, we face in our daily life.

A person wants to marry to lead a family life but is afraid of taking responsibility for it — such a kind of event has both positive and negative outcomes. Or we can say it’s a goal that is appealing and unappealing at the same time.

c. Avoidance-avoidance conflict: To decide between two equally undesirable events that a person wants to avoid — first described by psychologist Kurt Lewin in 1931.

For example, a man fails to convince his wife or mother and starts to consume alcohol. Or some people may even commit suicide to get rid of such conflicts.

d. Multiple approach-avoidance conflicts: An individual facing many alternatives — each has both positive and negative outcomes.

Suppose a woman wants to get married. The positive outcomes can be marrying a person whom she loves and having some security in her life. On the contrary, it also seems repellent to her as she has to quit her job — gives her identity, and makes her dependent.

3. UNCONSCIOUS CONFLICTS: These conflicts are going on below the level of our conscious mind.

But how it gets started? If you want to know about unconscious conflicts then you’ve to understand what our unconscious mind is.

According to Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, the unconscious mind is the storehouse of all our deep-seated desires, feelings, and emotions that we can’t express when we’re in our conscious state.

These wants and desires when repressed, shift to our unconscious level. It slowly gathers strength by experiencing similar kinds of events. And this group of unfulfilled desires tries to come back to our conscious level by a process — called complex. And this complex gives rise to unconscious conflicts.

At our conscious level, they can appear in the form of slip of tongue, motivated forgetting, dreams, or even in the form of some peculiar behaviors, a process — known as Freud’s slip.

“It is more rewarding to resolve a conflict than to dissolve a relationship” Josh McDowell.

What are the main causes of conflict?

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What is conflict, from where does it come? We don’t know right? Because we never try to understand the root causes of conflict; once we identify its causes we don’t even need to apply any strategies.

Each conflict is unique and complex in its own way. But according to some researchers, several factors may drive this conflict.


One of the causes of conflicts is obviously our needs. As humans, we all have some basic needs like food, water, shelter. According to the psychologist, besides those needs, we also have some physical and non-physical requirements.

Psychologist David McClelland defines these needs as the results of experiences we acquired throughout life — known as ‘Acquired needs’ (achievement, intimacy, power, affiliation).

So when we can’t fulfill our needs especially our ‘acquired needs’, it creates conflicts. The more these desires go unmet, the stronger we try to accomplish our needs.


Like needs, fears hold some tremendous power to escalate conflicts in us. The causes of fears can be anything. It can be external or internal and can be realistic or imaginary as well. Furthermore, if we don’t try to overcome our fears, we may develop anxiety and frustration which will be more complex to deal with.


When there’re conflicts on certain concepts like right or wrong, good or bad — those are mainly based upon our values. Values are nothing but some deeply held beliefs. It comes from some cultural traditions, religious teaching, or some memories of personal experiences.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to explain where they came from and what they are. We just know it and feel it, based upon nothing but upon our beliefs. And such values are deeply rooted in our subconscious mind.

So, when we ask someone to change their values, that will not happen easily. Those’re controlled not by our ‘rational selves’ but by our non-conscious emotions.


We can say it as a ‘rank’ or ‘standing’ of a person in stratified organizations like our community, family, or society. Having a high status is equal to having high power. And that means greater access to the resources to fulfill our needs and desires.

In these highly stratified organizations, our status is defined not only by our potential or ability but by our belonging or identity to a specific dominant group. These inequalities in society are one of the root causes of conflicts between individuals.


Like status, identity can create conflicts when a person’s sense of self is challenged or threatened. A kind of conflict that I faced so many times. Identity is a key factor for family and gender conflicts. Racial or ethnic conflicts are also there. These kinds of conflict may produce responses like aggression, fear, anxiety, and so on.

How to deal with conflicts

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We can deal with our conflicts if we try to identify the nature of them. When we have differences of opinion with someone, we often try to convince them by overpowering our point of view. This type of conversation creates conflicts with our friends, families, or colleagues. But thankfully, there are conflicts resolution strategies that I applied in some situations. And I hope these will also work for you.

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it” Dorothy Thomas.

  • We should not get defensive all the time by saying ‘but’, ‘however’, ‘nevertheless’ while having a conversation with someone. Instead, we can use phrases like “I understand your point of view” or “that’s a valid point.”
  • Begins statements with “I”, instead of “you.” When we say “I think I’m not being understood” is far less confrontational than “you aren’t listening.” It will create a big difference in a conversation and may provide an atmosphere of mutual respect.
  • In case of a double approach conflict, we can choose the one goal which is more desirable for us or simply resolve it by giving up one of the targets.
  • The double avoidance conflict is more complex. As in this case, we’re dealing with two situations that are equally undesirable to us. In this case, we should try to resolve this by accepting the one which is less repelling.
  • When it’s about approach avoidance, the best solution will be compromised with the situation as there is only one goal, that we can’t avoid.
  • If we talk about the multiple approach-avoidance conflicts, the individual has to decide between multiple alternatives. So our decision should be based upon the sum total of desirable and undesirable outcomes, resulting in the selection of events.
  • If we can overcome our internal conflicts, there is no need to think about unconscious conflicts. When we fail to solve our internal issues, they may be carried on to the unconscious level — creating psychological and psychosomatic disorders.
  • I got the motivation to write this story while dealing with my conflicts, which is very normal. But overcoming some situations is difficult sometimes. I read a lot of articles on conflicts, what psychologists say about this. And finally, I got some insights about it. So, I feel it would be great if I share my findings with you. Thank you for reading, please share your opinions on it.

    Originally published at Medium.

    If you enjoyed this article, read the other one also. This article is on, What Is The Need For A True Relationship — Attraction Or Understanding?

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    About the author


    A writer on Medium.MSc. in Biological Science. Write about Science, Wellness, Travel, Food & Health. Bookworm. Love to travel. Trying to learn German but ist Nicht gut.

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