Conflict between people is a part of life and it is not necessarily a bad thing. I believe a relationship with frequent conflict may be healthier than one that seems to completely perfect or does not have any observable conflict. Conflicts can occur at many different levels of interaction, work, among friends, family members, and intimate relationships.
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When conflict occurs a relationship can be weakened or strengthened depending on the conflict and its resolution. Thus, conflict is a very critical event in the course of any relationship. Conflict can cause resentment, hostility, and perhaps end a relationship if it is handled poorly. However, conflict can be productive, lead to deeper understanding, mutual respect and closeness if it is handled well. I believe that the determination of whether a relationship is healthy or unhealthy does not depend on the number of conflicts between people, but on how the conflicts are handled and resolved.
In the movie Hitch (Mordaunt & Tadross, 2005) I noticed the interpersonal conflict of lack of communication between the character Alex (Hitch) and Sara. In the movie they started to date and really got to like each other however, they both failed to disclose some very personal and important facts about one another. The most important thing in a healthy relationship is good communication and self –disclosure which both parties failed to do effectively.
Both parties were dodging around the true aspects of their jobs. However, they were both very cautious about what they told each other and this eventually created a big problem in their relationship. The conflict actually started when a friend of Sara’s fills like she was dumped by her boyfriend due to the advice of a date specialist known as the “Date Doctor”. Sara later finds out that the man that she has a relationship with (Hitch) is the “date doctor”. Sara confronts Hitch and ask him if he is indeed the “date doctor” he confirms that he is and tries to explain to her what he does. She refuses to listen and the fight begins.
When she calms down and tries to talk to him he blows her off and refuses to listen. Finally, in the end they work things out. I believe that if Sara had been more open and really disclosed what she was trying to do they could have avoided the conflict that happened between them. Hitch could have been more open about what his job really consisted of and this may have given her more understanding on what he tries to do for people. The conflict may have been avoided if after Sara found out that he was the “date doctor” she had given time to explain and may have been reassured he was not trying to hurt people but make love connections. Instead they both chose to be stubborn and not communicate with other causing a lot of hurt and misunderstanding in their relationship.
It is our interest to maintain relationships that are smooth, flexible, and mutually enhancing. The problem occurs when we fail to use cooperative approaches in our dealings with others. People do not create conflict intentionally. It sometimes happens because we are not aware of how our own behavior contributes to interpersonal problems. Sometimes we feel so exasperated that we focus on our own needs at expense of others. Then we find ourselves in conflict within our relationships. To prevent conflict from happening it is important to identify the ways in which we contribute to the disagreement and work on how you say things.
Have a discussion (listen) to understand both sides of the problem and try to resolve it. In a relationship a person should be ready, willing and able to communicate their inner thoughts and feelings to one another. Communication is a key role in any healthy relationship, whether it is platonic, or intimate.
Mordaunt, W. Tadross, M. (Executive Producers), & Tennant, A. (Director). (2005). Hitch [Film]. Los Angeles: Sony Pictures