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The background of conflict

Сonflictology is the process of attempting to resolve a dispute or a conflict. Successful conflict resolution requires listening to, and providing opportunities to meet, each side's needs, then adequately addressing each side’s interests so everyone is satisfied with the outcome.

Сonflict occurs when one party decides that the way things are is not okay and seeks change, but that change is not agreed to by the other party. It is important to realize that despite the old saying that ”it takes two to tangle”, in reality it only takes one party to declare a conflict. Truthfully, conflict is stressful and unpleasant for a majority of people. One of the main reasons this is so is that most of us are not confident of our ability to successfully resolve disputes.

Sometimes, we may pave over the conflict with superficial gestures or social masking. Another common strategy is blaming, talking or complaining about the situation with friends or third parties. This may give some emotional venting or relief but rarely solves the problem. If we perceive the conflict as truly serious, we may contract with lawyers as our hired guns to deal with our problems. We use lawyers because the complexity of the law is so intimidating, and also we do not have to confront the people involved directly. However, this third party approach has some definite liabilities, which include a high monetary cost, a loss of personal control over the outcome, and a winner/ loser scenario that can provide the basis for future conflict.

Despite all of its negative aspects, conflict and disagreement between people has its good side. Conflict is actually the main vehicle through which change takes place in our society. When we disagree, it helps us sharpen our focus and define what the important issues are for us. Suppression of conflict and dissent is a sure sign that freedom and democracy are in trouble. Seen from this point of view, conflict is both evolutionary and absolutely necessary.

In times long past, conflict was likely to have life or death consequences. Whether under attack from a marauding tribe or being stalked by a saber–toothed tiger, our ancestors had to be constantly ready for action in order to survive. When faced with a perceived threat, these humans of old responded immediately and automatically with a package of hormonal output designed to enhance survival. At the first sign of danger, signals from the amygdala, triggered the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal glands. This immediately raised the heartrate, elevated breathing, and diverted blood flow from the stomach and the areas near the skin into the large muscle groups. The body was ready to do what it took to live: fight, or if necessary, flee. Of course, there were also times when fighting or fleeing was useless, and the best alternative was to play dead. Playing dead at least gave the ancient one a chance to survive.

3.Answer the questions:

How do conflicts start and are carried on?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of conflicts?

Why will there always be conflicts in the society?

What may the third party be in a serious conflict?

What are the hardwired ancient responses to conflicts?

Which of the old approaches to solve a conflict would you prefer? Why?

4. Match the following words with the translation:

outcome– выход

attempt– облегчение

to tangle– преследовать

to enhance– осознавать

to pave (over)– убегать

vent– результат

release– попытка

dissent– разногласие

to perceive– усиливать

to flee– перейти

to trigger– отводить

consequences– мародерский

marauding– последствия

to stalk– запутываться

to divert– приводить к чему–л.

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