I experienced the negative consequences of the covert conflict while living with the roommate who avoided expressing the real emotions and feelings. My roommate chose to mask negative emotions under ignoring behaviors. Covert conflicts can develop over a long period of time, and our conflict was lasting for several months. My roommate refused to discuss the rules for living together while stating that there were no details or aspects to discuss because of the roommate’s good character.
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In reality, I could only assume about the roommate’s real emotions because the person chose to ignore me during the days and then tell my friends what mistakes I made while cleaning the room and mirrors, cooking, or dishing up instead of talking directly to me. I saw that my roommate liked to place all the objects in the right way, and I followed that pattern, but I could only guess that I did anything wrong during the days when the roommate ignored me.
The focus on ignoring me and talking indirectly to me while gossiping with my friends cannot be discussed as the right way to solve the conflict. Thus, the covert conflict behavior hindered my communication with the roommate because the followed ignoring strategy prevented me from receiving the answers to my questions. As a result, my relations with the roommate and friends were worsened because I had no opportunity to talk about the conflict directly and to answer the friends’ questions about the possibility of resolving this interpersonal conflict without their involvement.
I tried to speak to the roommate many times to discuss the issue and to predict the following days of ignoring me, but the roommate’s reaction was a smile and attempts to avoid the conversation. From this point, I could not contribute to resolving the conflict because the roommate did not want to ‘fight about such nonsense’.
To resolve the conflict appropriately, it could be reasonable to apply the five problem-solving stages to overcoming the problem because of their contribution to creating a positive atmosphere and relations (Sole, 2011, p. 211-214). At the first stage, it is necessary to define the conflict while drawing the opponent’s attention to the problem (Wood, 2011, p. 186). Thus, I could use the assertive communication style while focusing on the necessity to speak about the problem because the problem prevented the roommate and me from creating a real strong friendship (Sole, 2011, p. 211-214; Howell, 2013, p. 157-162).
It is important to focus on the advantages of speaking about the problem without focusing on the negative consequences which can upset the roommate because of many factors. I could respond to the roommate’s emotions while defining the conflict.
The conversation could result in examining the possible solutions. It is important to allow the opponent to determine the solution which is most appropriate for him or her before finding the compromise (Sole, 2011, p. 210-212). I could pay more attention to discussing what aspects of my behavior were rather irritating for the roommate. To test the solution, we should have determined the time frames for living according to the new rules.
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The next important stage is the evaluation of the solution. I would provide the roommate with the right to state whether the chosen solution can be appropriate to resolve our problem. The final stage is the acceptance or the rejection of the solution. Much attention should be paid to the choice of the right solution in order to resolve the conflict appropriately and during a minimal period of time.
Howell, E. (2013). The dissociative mind. USA: Routledge.
Sole, K. (2011). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communications. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Wood, J. (2011). Communication in our lives. USA: Cengage Learning.