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The Difference Between Conflict and Problems

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A conflict occurs when people don’t agree on something. Conflict is a part of life and isn’t necessarily a bad thing especially if the conflict is dealt with in a healthy and positive fashion, addressing and resolving the issue. The benefit of conflict is that it forces you to grow and can improve your relationships. However, if it isn’t handled appropriately conflict can ruin personal and work relationships.

When Conflict Occurs

Conflict happens when differences arise due to the various ideas, perceptions, motivations and desires that a person has and which may not jive when those of another person. A problem is something that needs solving, answering or considering. It may involve a person, a matter or situation that is difficult and perplexing. A small problem can turn into a huge one if there is conflict and it you allow it to fester, according to

It Can Be Good

It is a mistake to assume that all conflicts are problems because they are not. The problem is in figuring out how to effectively deal with problems that can become conflicts, according to Neil Thompson of Avenue Consulting. Conflict does not have to lead to a problem but it often does because people aren't as well versed as they should be regarding problem- and conflict solving.

The Benefits of Conflict

Conflicts can lead to opportunities that are advantageous to all and need not end up in heated exchanges, hurt feelings and unresolved problems. Conflict can become so unwieldy that it leads to war. Conflicts can prompt creative problem solving that requires all involved to recognize that each party has needs and all of the needs are legitimate.

Additional Perks

Conflict can become a constructive and creative experience. It’s not a problem as long as the people involved recognize incompatibilities and differences between each other.


Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.

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