Business, Community & Government, Wellness

Understanding and Resolving Conflict

Esther Perel

Lesson time 16:33 min

Learn conflict management by discovering the three most common conflict dynamics. Esther reframes the idea of conflict, showing you how to better understand and defuse conflictual situations.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Fight Smarter, Not Harder• The Fighter and the Fleer • The Fighter and the Fighter • The Fleer and the Fleer • Defuse Conflict: Identify the Hurt Underneath • Try This Essential Practice: Reflect on Conflict


[MUSIC PLAYING] - There's absolutely no way we can have a course on relationships and not talk about the most juicy topic of them all, conflict and the way we manage conflict in relationships, what do we mean by conflict, and how it is essential for the well-being of people in relationships to have a good way, or as good a way as possible, to deal with conflict. [MUSIC PLAYING] Sometimes, people say, how can I enter conflict? And I would say, we don't enter conflict. We create conflict. Conflict is the outcome. The first thing is, why does something become a conflict is an important question to ask. For some people, simple disagreements are experienced like sources of conflict. [MUSIC PLAYING] Every one of us learned, in our growing up, family, community, political reality, racial reality-- how to respond to conflict, how to live in conflictual situations. And we learned them at home, and we learned what price we paid when we spoke up, and what price we paid when we didn't say anything, or what we gained from not saying anything, or what we gained from speaking up, from fighting for something. And we watched how other people dealt with disagreement, dealt with power struggles. This is probably one of the most important things we learn, watching other people around us-- how did people deal when they were humiliated or when they were shamed or when they were feeling guilty or when they were dissed, and what they did with their anger. Because conflict is directly connected to our experience of anger, frustration, disappointment, hurt, conflict is the expression of all these feelings, often when they are not handled well. A conflict is basically an ascending curve from something that is a discord, a disagreement, a challenge, and it goes all the way to an explosion. It's an ascending curve. Conflict, don't think of it as something static. It moves. So I want you to see the complexity of conflict, that it's not just fighting and arguing, but that conflict is an overall situational ecology that we have either learned to live with and plunge into, or often, on the other side, have learned to avoid like the plague because it felt so dangerous and so threatening. And what will be interesting is if you notice who are the people that are close to you, and is their experience of conflict similarly as yours? What you often find in a relationship-- there's only three dances around this. It's two fighters, two distancers, or one fighter and one fleer. [MUSIC PLAYING] Imagine I want to discuss something with you, and you say, not now. At my worst, sometimes, I can be the person who follows you through the house. You go into the room. I start knocking at the door. I follow you in the room. I am not going to be able to stop this until we've got this thing figured out and discussed. Does this work? No. It generally doesn't because the more I run after you, if you are the one who tends to...

About the Instructor

Known for her innovative approach to love and relationships, Esther Perel is sharing her methods for building deeper connections with every person in your life. Whether it’s with your partner or project manager, you’ll learn how rethinking the basic principles of intimacy, communication, and trust can improve the quality of your life in the bedroom, boardroom, and beyond.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Esther Perel

Renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel teaches you the power—and the art—of connecting with others.

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