The escalation or diffusion of conflict is to do with style, the words and the emotional energy used. There are a number of ways that conflict can escalate.
‘Typical of you.’
‘No wonder you didn’t get that promotion.’
‘You should take more pride in your work.’
‘Why can’t you be more like your sister?’
Bring up the past
Use labels or put-downs
Don’t accept what the other person says
Use ‘you never…’ ‘you always…’ ‘you should…’
Circumstances that can escalate the conflict
Issues that are resolved in minutes on that sunny beach in the middle of that relaxed holiday, can turn out very differently if you both have had a hard day, it is late in the evening and the children won’t settle!
Things that can turn a trivial issue into a major disagreement include:
We don’t always see a row brewing. It can catch us unawares. Before you know it, a spark becomes a flame, then a fire, and you don’t seem to be able to control it any more.
A slight difference over weekend plans can lead to personal insults, widen to include an attack on other, and suddenly you are ready to break up.