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I thought I would re-post this post as I see the presence of unnecessary suffering due to the unnecessary conflicts in human relationships. Hope you find it useful.

Why do you think people get into a heated talk? Why and how is Conflict formed in a relationship? Is it possible people communicate and resolve differences without hatred and resentment?

I think the condition that forms, fuels and escalates Conflict in human relationships our collective inability to enter into the Zone of Extremism.

I believe the long-lasting conflict in human relationships is a byproduct of our extreme positions/stances on issues that matter to us.  We may have lots of reasons to become ‘for or against’ an idea but when we enter into a conversation, it is important to be open to others’ point of views.  The belief that the stance we take is the only way, the only truth, and the best solution, leads us to conflicts.  This is what i call ‘the zone of extremism’. The zone that brings us harm than good; the zone that locks us into polarized positions and the zone that make us stuck in a gridlock for a long time.

These are the possible conditions for entering into the ‘zone of Extremism’:

  • When we only talk about the extreme condition of situations
  • When we exaggerate outcomes or consequences of actions or beliefs
  • When we hold the opposite stance much longer than it needed
  • When we hold 100% for or against position on an idea during the entire conversion
  • When we don’t deliberately switch our positions to see things from the other’s point of view.

The solution may seem to be apparent, however, it is difficult to achieve at times.  What makes it difficult is the influence of ‘the zone of extremism’ on both parties involved in conversations.  Awareness is required prior to entering into any conversation. To develop awareness and consciousness, we need to consider paying attention to the following:

  • Give ‘benefit of doubt’ to the other party’s talk
  • Share ideas without attempting to convince the other
  • Take a listening position to hear the other party’s ideas
  • Stay away from dogmatism and division (the zone of extremism)
  • Make deliberate intentional efforts to reduce your 100% devotion/loyalty to your stance. This way the other party is better able to express herself/ himself.

Remember, there is some truth in every idea; everything that we know about ourselves and our conditions is part of our collective human knowledge; and human knowledge is NOT complete, pure, and absolute.

Happy Possibilities,

Tahereh Barati, RMFT