Social Studies

Conflict, causes, consequences and solutions to conflict

Alfred Ajibola - Mon, 03rd June, 2019 @ 16:13: PM

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What is conflict?

First and foremost, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. In addition to this, each person has a variety of rights including the right to freedom of speech. You may read on human rights here. Our rights and opinions are one of the reasons why we have conflict in our world today. In fact, conflict has become a part of our society based on this very fact.

By definition, conflict is simply a clash of interest.

Also, conflict can also be expressed as a visible disagreement between two or more persons with regards to their opinions, beliefs and principle.


Causes of Conflicts

There are many causes of conflict. Some may appear to be amazing when we think about them; for instance, silence (may actually result to conflict).

Note: Silence can also be a source to conflict prevention.


Below are some of the causes of conflicts:

1. Frustration: When one is frustrated, he or she is made to feel annoyed and impatient because they cannot do or get what they wish. As a result, they become irritable and are more likely create conflicts. If such frustration had occurred in a group, such person may intend to harm the group by bringing about conflict within it.

2. Misunderstandings: Conflict will likely arise when people have different views or opinions on how things ought to be done. For instance, if the leaders of a group decided to maximize their powers by taking decisions outside the guide of their constitution, certain members of this group may rise to oppose the actions of such leaders which could result into conflict. You can read on constitution here.

3. Difference in beliefs and values: We may have seen or heard about various ethnic clashes within a country or state; especially those having more than one ethnic group. Also, religious conflicts and crises emanate from the different beliefs of people. For instance, the so-called boko haram group in Nigeria have been a major source of conflict for many reasons, one of which is their zero or no value priority on western education.

4. Poor Communication: At every point in a communication, it is expected that one of the parties will have to be the speaker while the other will be the listener. When a communication where no one is willing to be the listener ensues, noise and conflicts are bound to arise.

5. Respect of opinion: Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and that must be respected, whether we agree with them or not. Some people will rather attempt to force their opinion on others which will sometimes result into conflict. We should also understand that everyone has the right to accept our opinion or not to.

6. Interest: In a family for instance, when the need of one person is placed over another, a conflict of interest may arise. For instance, if the wife constantly puts priority on the needs of the children before that of her husband, then, there is a likelihood of conflict in such homes. Please read our article on the reasons for failed marriages here.

7. Leadership: We cannot have two captains in a ship at the same time. In the 2019 general election held in Nigeria, a major political party whom is expected to win a governorship election in one of its states ended up being disqualified because they could not provided a single governorship candidate for their party. This happened because the party had a leadership conflict within its inner caucus.

8. Personality: Personality conflict results when we have persons with similar personality working together. For instance, when we have two persons with pride working together; personality conflict may likely result. Similarly, when we have two talkative in the same office, none may be willing to listen, giving rise to conflict.

9. Cheating in a relationship: In any relationship, when one of the partners cheat on the other, he or she is only inviting conflict into their relationship.

10. Vices: Vices in this case means evil, bad and negative behavior. Believe it or not, everyone likes to be treated in a good way. Sometimes people may even fight for others based on how badly they have been treated. Some examples of vices are hate, envy, stealing, pride, covetousness, slot and so on. Evil brings about chaos and conflict.


Consequences / Effects of Conflict

  1. It reduces the chances of achieving a common goal by a group.
  2. It brings about the division of people.
  3. It can result to death of innocent people. I have heard stories about people who killed the children of those with whom they had conflict with.
  4. It leads to revenge.
  5. It brings about a bias in decision making.
  6. It results into an unnecessary stress.
  7. Properties are lost as a result of conflict.
  8. It may result to depression and other mental issues.
  9. It may cause emotional breakdown.
  10. It results to quarrel and malice.
  11. Time and energy is wasted as a result of conflict.
  12. It may result to decreased productivity and output


Solutions to conflict

Conflict can be managed via two main ways. These are:

  • Preventing or stopping the conflict before they occurred.
  • Resolving the conflict after they had occurred so as minimize some of the consequences listed above.


Below are some of the solutions to conflict:

  1. We should focus on the issue of deliberation and not necessarily on our opinion about the issue.
  2. We must understand that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. It’s either we accept their opinion or not. We should not attempt to force our opinion on others.
  3. When resolving conflict, we should always listen carefully to both sides of the story before we draw any conclusions.
  4. Although, we cannot satisfy everyone’s need, we should not be bias when dealing with people.
  5. Learn to forget about the past. Focus on the present.
  6. Don’t be aggressive when you communicate your grievances; rather; be cool, calm and collected.
  7. We should learn to walk away or remain silent during an intense argument.
  8. We must learn to be patient with other people.


Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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