How to Avoid, Manage, and Resolve Conflicts

1. Recognize that there are different types of conflict that require very different strategies to both manage and solve.

2. Identify the type of conflict you are either facing or believe you may have to face.

3. Be Proactive: Act on the directives outlined in the type of conflict you have identified.

Type One: Competitive or win-lose/zero-sum: the strategies for e.g. being the top 7% who will get As, will often lead to serious conflict.  These conflicts can be profoundly altered through mediation.

Type Two: Reactive: when difficult times (natural disaster, illness in oneself or one’s family, job loss among other stressors) cause individuals to strike out, to externalize their emotions (Aggressive behavior associated with PTSD related trauma, is included here. At times trauma is implicated in type three.)

Type Three:  They are either unilateral or bilateral – what I refer to as “high conflict”: the former is chronic, abusive, polarizing and destructive and is caused by a cataclysmic malignant narcissist, (CMN). CMNs are affect dysregulated* demanding to control others which they do through intermittent reinforcement* and other means of coercive control* described in Type Three Conflicts and by creating chaos. I describe the psychological defenses that create this condition in my ebook. I argue that in a sense CMNs are dissociated* from their cruelty and that their will must prevail over the common good.* I know as an expert witness often charged with identifying these individuals and assessing their risk to family members, that with our current methodology they are very difficult to prove in court.   Bilateral of “high conflict:” one party is a CMN and the other party can be affect dysregulated as well, for reasons generally independent of the CMN. Assortative mating* is included here.   Child custody disputes are very often a “Type Three” dispute.  Type Three in my site provides a general description of a CMN. My Blog provides examples of how CMNs plays into politics and my ebook describes how they play into one’s personal life. An asterisk indicates terms used by distinguished scholars. I give credit to them in my site and in my ebook.

“Peace can only be achieved by understanding…Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler”

-Albert Einstein

“If you have knowledge let others light their candles at it”

-Margaret Fuller

“if we could first know where we are . . . we could then better judge what to do and how to do it”

-Abraham Lincoln

“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are – or, as we are conditioned to see it.”

– Stephen R. Coveyn

The Center for Disease Control says abuse is the most deadly and the most expensive “disease” extant in the United States.

It is not an overstatement that foreseeing and understanding conflict is the means to a good and productive life and that mishandling conflict can be ruinous. Yet conflict and its demoralizing effects is rising in our society. I hope the information herein will help counter this trend so that the responses to conflict described here, become the norm.

About Robin M. Lynch PhD

I am a licensed psychologist, appointed to the New York State Appellate Division’s panel of child custody evaluators and Chair of the New York State Psychological Association’s, Child Custody Evaluation Committee, (CCEC.) CCEC is committed to advancing the court’s ability to identify abuse, addiction and trauma in contested child custody disputes and to increasing the court’s understanding of the dynamics of these disputes.  Also, CCEC is working to change the policies and practices that impact the way disputed child custody cases are adjudicated.  As child custody disputes are the most elemental form of complex conflict, i.e., conflict that is expansive, polarizing, destructive, and immune to mediation, (what I refer to here as Type Three conflicts) I hope that what is learned from their analysis will serve to help diminish the effect of type three conflicts generally.

I received my Ph.D. from Columbia University in Social Psychology, where I was a research assistant for the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, (ICCCR).  I am Past-President of The Forensic Division of the New York State Psychological Association, (NYSPA)  and I am on the American Psychological Association’s “Effective Providers” panel which is developing new means for identifying and treating abused and traumatized children.  While I use a client-centered approach my therapeutic work is informed by many great psychological schools of thought as each identifies the vulnerabilities and the strengths of the human condition.

Many individuals from legal and psychological backgrounds were supportive of this undertaking, but I am solely responsible for its content.