Conﬂicts are part of the normal experience of living and working with people, even those closest and dearest to us. Yet we are often perplexed at the subtlety and complexity of how conﬂicts are played out.
Some conﬂicts remain dormant and rear their ugly heads when the conditions are ripe. We feel misunderstood and unfairly treated. We respond emotionally and later regret our actions. People are made for relationships. Goodwill abounds if conﬂict is addressed squarely, reconciliation sought, and solutions found.
But not all conﬂicts are bad. In fact, conﬂict itself is neutral: It is neither good nor bad. Some of the worst conﬂicts can turn into the most beautiful self-recovery processes and etch relational depth; we just need to understand conflict better.
So why do Asians avoid conﬂict? Many Asians acknowledge that they are predisposed to conﬂict-aversion and capitulate to individuals with higher authority or greater power. Children acquiesce reluctantly to parents when they are younger, but they may turn into irrepressible monsters when they are in their teens.
Maids may conform ﬂaccidly to bosses who mistreat them. But they retaliate indirectly on their bosses’ children, property or, in one case, by deliberately putting broken pieces of glass into their food! Reticent staff may be seen to succumbing to their employers’ whims and fancies, but some will injure them insidiously by spreading rumors through the ofﬁce grapevine.
In this program, we will:
- Appreciate the nature of conflicts; and explore
- Why Asians avoid conflict.