The first thing to learn is that conflicts are part of life, we cant avoid them but we can make life less painful if we anticipate potential conflict and manage it constructively. Here are some clues:

  • You have an initial feeling something is wrong - if you stop here and ask yourself "Is there something I could do about this". you may find yourself on a course of action that you would not have occurred to you before. It is relatively easy at this point to handle it.
     
  • If you dont, then you start feeling tension which distorts your perception of the other person so most of what they do becomes weighed with negative attitudes and you worry.
  • Then perhaps there is a misunderstanding based probably on unclear communication. The more you think about it the worse it gets!
     
  • Perhaps then there is a simple incident. They were late for dinner without phoning, then you remember lots of other small incidents and this becomes a big issue and creates tension and the conflict escalates
     
  • Then the conflict explodes. Someone leaves the relationship, one country invades another due to fights for water etc., someone else hits another. A friendship is ruined etc. So to make life easy for yourself try listening for those clues and dealing with the problem before it becomes a full blown conflict.