CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

The Role of Silence and Avoidance in Interpersonal Conflict

Department

Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

Publication Date

2004

Publication Title

Peace and Conflict Studies

ISSN

1082-7307

Volume

11

Issue/No.

2

First Page

85

Last Page

95

Abstract

Conflict is an inevitable process in relationships. Effective strategies must be used to manage conflict accordingly. If one is to understand how to incorporate effective strategies when dealing with conflict, the emotional experience related to conflict must be understood. The expression of anger is the emotion most associated with conflict; therefore, anger is an important emotion in the assessment of conflict. Anger is associated with arousal that may be traced to have its roots in the evolution of humankind. The emotion of anger is in part biological which links it to dispositional properties and to another extent largely communicative as it has expressive properties. From a communication perspective, fight and flight responses can be modified to contribute to more productive forms of conflict management. This paper argues that avoidance and silence are strategies that are viewed negatively in Western Cultures; however, these strategies can in fact be effective strategies in promoting peace in relationships when conflict arises. Peace and Conflict Studies - 85

Peer Reviewed

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