Question : Almost inevitably, conflict interaction gains a momentum or life of : 2010
Almost inevitably, conflict interaction gains a momentum or life of its own. It tends toward repetitive cycles. This tendency is present in all types of human interaction. Any message is based on some, perhaps only barely conscious, assumption about how it will be received. Each assumption or prediction about the reaction is based on an estimate, as best guess, about the other person or social unit as a whole. The choice of message anticipates and reflects the response it seeks, and thus promotes the reaction included in its construction. A predictable sequence of act-response-counter response gets established quickly in conflict interaction because each message in the sequence helps to elicit the response it receives. This tendency toward self-perpetuation is encouraged and reinforced by its own utility. People in conflict find it useful to "know what to expect." Any basis of predictability is more assuring than not knowing what the group will do next. One can prepare counter-responses and strategies during a conflict if one can predict reactions to one’s own statements. For this reason, people are often willing to make assumptions about the way others will act before any move is made. They therefore run the risk of eliciting the response they assume will occur. Anticipating that someone will react with a certain style, like a touch battler, can encourage a battling response. It becomes the appropriate response, given the previous comment. Because all parties can find this predictability useful in preparing their own responses, the cycle feeds on itself. In some cases, a cycle may be helpful: Cycles can be productive if they include a periodic check for possibly inflexibility or they lead to success on "easy" issues, which then carries over to more difficult disputes. In many other cases, however, the cycles become the basis for inflexibility and lead to uncontrolled destructive interaction. Do you agree? Your thoughts?